The Predictor weighs in with World Cup quarter-final tips

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Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

The last-eight countries at the World Cup are already known and the hosts Russia are the surprise of the pick so far.

The odds rank Russia and Sweden as outsiders to win the World Cup with +2000 and +2500

I really expect the quarter-final scorelines to be as tight as possible as all of the eight teams know that there is little room for error at this stage of the tournament.

Here are my tips and correct score predictions for the four quarter-final matches:

FRIDAY

Uruguay vs France

The French side were on a roll against Argentina who were my pick to win the World Cup but fell on their sword. These are former World Cup winners go head-to-head and with the kind of forwards they parade I am sure there will be goals in this. For France, youngster Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud should give Óscar Tabárez, El Maestro, reasons to keep things tight at the back. The French will be wary of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani if he is fit to play. Both teams have scored in each of their last four matches, so there should be goals.

The Predictor’s tip: France win; over 1.5 goals

The Predictor’s correct score: 1-2

Brazil vs Belgium

There will be so much talent on both ends of the pitch when these two meet at the Kazan Arena on Friday. Neymar Jr, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Philippe Coutinho, Thibaut Courtois and Vincent Kompany are among the big-names to feature in this matchup. Belgium were made to work in the last-16 by Japan before battling from two goals down to win 3-2 while Brazil cruised to a 2-0 win. Both teams have scored at least a goal in each of their last five matches and they meet for the first time since the 2002 World Cup when Brazil ran out 2-0 winners in the round of 16.

The Predictor’s tip: Brazil win (via penalties); over 1.5 goals

The Predictor’s correct score: 1-1 (game to go into penalty shootout)

SATURDAY

Sweden vs England

The odds against Sweden to win the World Cup sure ranks them as outsiders but I do not think it is enough for anyone to write them off. In Andreas Granqvist and Victor Lindelof, the Swedes have steel at the back while Emil Forsberg is the key men who orchestrates things in a team of modest footballers. England’s Three Lions have relied on their captain and talisman Harry Kane for goals and the Tottenham man has proven he is a forward who can compete at the big stage. Gareth Southgate’s men scraped through the last-16 on penalties, now they face a different test in the Swedes who are capable of producing shock outcomes.

The Predictor’s tip: England win; either to win

The Predictor’s correct score: 0-1

Russia vs Croatia

Inasmuch as the Croatians are experienced they will come face to face with Russia’s 12th man. I must be honest this will be a difficult game for Zlatko Dalić’s men. The Russians have found that spark and are now play without the handbrake after edging Spain on penalties in the last-16. Stanislav Cherchesov’s team will hold no fear for the Croats big-names like Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren and Danijel Subasic.

The Predictor’s tip: Croatia win; Over 1.5 goals

The Predictor’s correct score: 1-2

© The Predictor NG

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