2022-12-08 · 3 min read · FIFA World Cup/Soccer
FIFA World Cup 2022 Quater-finals Teams

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In what felt like the blink of an eye, the 2022 World Cup field has gone from 16 down to eight. The quarterfinals are next and will feature the types of heavyweight matchups that produce global football legends.
All three pre-tournament favorites—Brazil, France and Argentina—are not just alive but also starting to thrive. Each looks dangerous, but the challengers they'll face possess no shortage of firepower. There are no easy matches remaining.
There are some mouth-watering matchups in the quarterfinals of the World Cup - but will there be any more shocks? Morocco is the surprise package in the last eight, and have already beaten European giants Belgium and Spain on their way to this stage - can they add Portugal to the list? Read on to see my picks to survive and move on to the semifinals.
Croatia vs. Brazil
No surprises here; I fully expect to see Brazil dance their way beyond Croatia and into the semi-finals. Tite’s side only needed 45 minutes to obliterate South Korea before conserving their energy in the second half of a 4-1 victory.
Croatia, on the other hand, relies on experience and old charms. The formidable Balkan nation of fewer than four million has done well to reach this round once again. But they’ll likely be bounced from Doha after watching the Brazilians dance.
  • Pick: Brazil 3–1
Argentina vs. Netherlands
Will this be Lionel Messi’s final game at the World Cup? I believe so. Argentina have played with a little more panache on their way to this stage, helped by some pieces of brilliance from Messi, but they are a team with issues of their own. You can definitely get at them and create chances, and I feel like Netherlands forwards Memphis Depay and Cody Gakpo might get some good opportunities.
Van Gaal is doing things differently to the traditional 4-3-3 the Dutch usually play, but they have been effective, even if they are not exactly beautiful to watch in the way their great teams of the past were.
Argentina's fans are the best at this World Cup; they are certainly the loudest. Any team with Messi in their side won't go quietly, but they might be heading home soon.
  • Pick: Netherlands 2-1 AET (after extra-time)
Morocco vs. Portugal
I don’t want the Morocco story to end. They have been absolutely fantastic. But Portugal is a step too far, especially now Fernando Santos has done the brave thing and dropped a misfiring Cristiano Ronaldo. They looked incredible without him and have the kind of cut-and-thrust that Spain were lacking in their shock penalties defeat to the North Africans. The constant pushing and probing of Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, João Félix and Otávio will prove too much...especially now they’ve got a striker in Gonçalo Ramos who can keep up with play.
Morocco are going to find this game a lot harder than stopping Belgium or Spain, but they are super-organised defensively - they have only conceded one goal at this World Cup (an own-goal against Canada) - and are extremely aggressive on the break. It worries me that they might be without West Ham United's Nayef Aguerd, who came off injured against Spain and is one of their key defenders.
  • Pick: Portugal 1-0
England vs. France
A match worthy of being the World Cup Finals. Some would be upset they are meeting too early, but I am happy the matchup is occurring at all.
France has one of the tournament’s most dynamic players and prolific goal scorers in Kylian Mbappé. Olivier Giroud can put away golden chances too. But England has a wide spread of goal scorers, making its attack unpredictable. England’s 12 goals have come from Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane.
France’s nine goals have come from Mbappé (5), Giroud (3) and Adrien Rabiot (1). Should Southgate prove savvy enough to put a stop to Mbappé while letting the likes of Bellingham, Saka and Foden roam free, England could put a stop to France.
We will all have our ideas about who should start for England and what formation they should play, but Gareth Southgate has barely put a foot wrong so far in Qatar, and he will have a plan for this game too. Suddenly he has got England in a position where the expectation is there again, but now it gets really serious - England need to win three games to win the World Cup and they are facing some top-quality opposition, starting with France.
  • Pick: 2-1 England
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By: Aaron Cantin


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