The business end of the World Cup is upon us with and only 8 teams remaining, there will be plenty of teams that are confident in clinching the trophy in what looks to be one of the most open competitions in recent memory. Host nation Russia eliminated Spain in the last round whilst the usual smattering of big names in the form of Brazil and France are still in contention. Europe is well represented with Croatia, Sweden, Belgium and England all still in contention whilst Uruguay are flying the flag for South America.
Here are our picks for the quarter finals at the 2018 World Cup:
2018 World Cup Quarter Finals Predictions
12:00am France vs Uruguay – Nizhny Novogorod Stadium
France come into this clash fresh off the back of one of the all-time World Cup last 16 wins where they beat Argentina 4-3 in a magnificent game in Kazan. They took the lead thanks to an Antoine Griezmann penalty but their defensive frailties were exposed as they fell 2-1 before Kyllian Mbappe announced himself on the world stage to inspire the French to reach the quarter finals for the second World Cup on the spin. France topped Group C and are unbeaten at this year’s tournament and after failing to demonstrate their attacking prowess in the group stages, could now be a real force to be reckoned with in the latter stages of the competition. Two-time winners Uruguay edged past Portugal in their last 16 match, thanks to two goals from talismanic front man Edison Cavani. With their team built on a solid defence, they look to possess many tools that are useful in tournament football and they will be relishing the opportunity to stifle the French. Uruguay topped Group A, registering 9 points in the process and their infamous defence has only been breached once in their opening 4 matches.
This game promises to be an intriguing clash of styles with the vigour and pace of France facing off against Uruguay’s notorious defensive organisation and ruthlessness in the form of Cavani and Suarez. Les Blues are the heavy favourites but Uruguay have a habit of spoiling the party and could force a draw in normal time but France have momentum and could squeeze through a very tough test – after extra time.
Betting tip: The match to finish as a draw and both teams to score ($5.25) – BET NOW
1-1 Draw (France to Qualify AET)
4:00am Brazil vs Belgium – Kazan Arena
Arguably the most exciting tie of the last 8 takes place in Kazan as Brazil and Belgium face off in what promises to be a World Cup classic. Brazil have been much better in their last 2 matches after a slow start to the competition in Russia, and they look to have finally got their tournament up and running. Their showing against Mexico in the last 16 demonstrated their potential defensive frailties but highlighted their prolific forward line and provided they are clinical, they look to have the squad to go all the way here. Roberto Martinez’s Belgium demonstrated remarkable mental strength to come from 2-0 down with 20 minutes to play to defeat Japan 3-2 for the second tournament running. Nacer Chadli’s injury time winner reverberated through the tournament and there is a genuine feeling that the ‘Golden Generation’ are set to deliver on the biggest stage.
This should be a very open game, between two attacking sides who look to play on the front foot and controlling the midfield could be key with the likes of Coutinho and Fernandinho going up against Hazard and De Bruyne. Brazil have the footballing heritage and knowhow whilst Belgium are the young pretenders on the world stage that look more than capable of winning the biggest prize in football for the first time.
This could be the game of the tournament so far and picking the winner looks borderline impossible.
Betting tip: Either side to win the match on penalties ($5.5) – BET NOW
1-1 Draw (Brazil to qualify AET)
12:00am Sweden vs England – Samara Arena
The third quarter final has a distinctively European feel as Sweden and England face off in what promises to be an attritional and physical encounter. Sweden are very much a surprise package at this year’s World Cup face having topped Group F ahead of the likes of Germany and Mexico before showing real resolve and discipline to get past an impressive Switzerland side in the last 16. They face off against an England side that are full of confidence having shown incredible mental strength to get past Colombia on penalties – to win their first ever World Cup penalty shootout and reach the last 8 for the first time since 2006. Despite being relatively unfancied at the start of the tournament, Sweden finished top of Group F with 6 points from their opening 3 games. Their comfortable wins over South Korea and Mexico were punctuated with a last-gasp defeat at the hands of Germany that ultimately proved insignificant. Gareth Southgate’s men beat Tunisia and Panama in Group G but their defeat to Belgium left them in second place before their remarkable shootout win over Colombia on Monday.
Both sides have surprised many by reaching this far and will see this as a genuine opportunity to go far in a World Cup with a game against the winner of Croatia and Russia waiting for the victor. With so much at stake it could be really physical tie between two extremely well organised and drilled teams and it could come down to a mistake or piece of individual brilliance. England have the Golden Boot front runner in the form of Harry Kane who has bagged 6 goals already in Russia and the skipper could propel them to the last 4 for the first time since 1990.
Betting tip: England to win the match and under 2.5 goals in the game ($4.25) – BET NOW
England to win 1-0
4:00am Croatia vs Russia – Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi.
Despite entering the tournament as the lowest ranked FIFA nation, World Cup hosts carry the hopes of a nation as they take on Croatia in Sochi. Russia showed incredible resolve and defensive prowess to eliminate 2010 World Cup winners Spain in the last 16 and the intrigue surrounding the team has reached fever pitch in Russia. They face-off against Croatia who lost their 100% record against Denmark but managed to dig out a win – despite not reaching the previous high levels they had earlier in the competition. Croatia finished above the likes of Argentina, Iceland Nigeria to top Group D whilst Russia dispatched of Egypt and Saudi Arabia with ease to finish second in Group A behind Uruguay.
Very few teams have impressed as much as Croatia so far in Russia – they look to have a solid squad, built around their elite midfielders Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic who have been elusive for most of their opponents so far. Russia have rode their luck at times but look to be playing with confidence when it matters and the atmosphere at their matches has seemingly willed them on beyond all expectations. Russia will fancy their chances of frustrating Croatia, just like Denmark managed to in the last round but Croatia have experienced personnel, that compete at the elite level, season in, season out and they should have too much for the hosts – who can bow out with their head held high.
Betting tip: Croatia to win the match to nil ($3.35) – BET NOW
Croatia to win 2-0
Anytime Goal Scorer Multi Bet
We’re backing four players to score in their respective quarter finals as a four-fold with a betting stake of $50:
Brazil vs Belgium – Neymar Jr to score anytime
France vs Uruguay – Kylian Mbappe to score anytime
England vs Sweden – Harry Kane to score anytime
Croatia vs Russia – Mario Mandzukic to score anytime
Pays $52.38 for all to score – BET NOW
A $50 wager would pay out $2619 if successful at the current odds.
World Cup Quarter Finals Mulit Bet
We’re backing four results in the quarter finals as a four-legger multi with a betting stake of $50:
Brazil vs Belgium – Brazil to qualify
France vs Uruguay – France to qualify
England vs Sweden – England to win
Croatia vs Russia – Croatia to win
Pays $10.19 for all to win – BET NOW
A $50 wager would pay out $509.5 if successful at the current odds.