So after 2 difficult, boring, football-less day the World Cup kicks back into action with the first two quarter finals. England fans are starting to calm down and coming back down to earth. The country is for the first time in a long time gripped in football fever which is also being fuelled by a summer heat wave. Friday sees two big match ups as big favourites go head to head.
First up France take on Uruguay. Some very intriguing match ups all across the pitch in this one. France’s electric forward line go up against the Uruguayan brick wall. Uruguay also have a major Injury concern heading into the game after Edinson Cavani limped out of their last 16 match up with Portugal. The duo of Suarez and Cavani is as deadly as they come and if he was to miss out it would be a major blow for Uruguay. France haven’t really been that impressive yet, you get the feeling Argentina made them look a lot better than they actually are and it is highly unlikely Mbappe and Griezmann will have the kind of space they had in that game and Diego Godin will marshall the back line much better then anything Argentina would have offered up.
Prediction – Tough to call when not knowing if Cavani is fit or not. On the basis that he has recovered Uruguay’s grit and determination will get them through 2-1
The second quarter final probably has the most quality in both sides but less in defensive steel so we could see some goals in this one. I can’t decide if Brazil have not been that good or that they haven’t really been tested so haven’t needed to looked good. When they have looked vulnerable they have still managed to win, teams have missed opportunities against them. If Belgium are presented with some of those chances its unlikely the attacking qualities like Lukaku, De Bryune or Hazard will miss them. Belgium can count themselves lucky to be here after finding themselves 2-0 down to Japan in the last 16. A brilliant comeback and a last second winner set up this quarter final clash. Belgium are also a strange side, in nearly every game they have played in this tournament they have managed to look awful AND brilliant in the same game. Players are out of position and not been used properly. They seem to look better when Martinez has made second half substitutions.
Prediction – Promises to be an open and exciting game and I have doubts whether either side can defend. I’ll go Brazil 3-2
Looks like a good day ahead and both games could go either way and wouldn’t be surprised to see both games head to the dreaded penalty shootouts.