World Cup 2018: July 6 Quarterfinals Preview – France Vs. Uruguay, Brazil Vs. Belgium
Two of the four 2018 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals will be held in Russia on Friday, and here is what you need to know.
First, France and Uruguay will face off at 10am EST. France won its group (while Denmark finished second), but was not as impressive as expected in the first round. However, Les Bleus put on a stellar performance in defeating Argentina 4-3 in their last (round of 16) game, led by two goals from 19-year-old rising star Kylian Mbappé, who has now scored three times in the tournament.
Uruguay was just one of three teams in the tournament to win all three of its first-round games. The squad then defeated Portugal 2-1 in the round of 16 behind two goals from “El Matador” Edinson Cavani, who limped off the field in the second half after becoming injured. He is thus questionable for Friday’s quarterfinal.
Uruguay have only allowed one goal this World Cup, to Portugal’s Pepe on Saturday. Uruguay has won two World Cups (1930, 1950), while France has won once (1998).
Both teams will surely pose a major threat to each other, as they both eliminated squads led by two of the world’s top soccer superstars: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. France also has a nine-game undefeated run against South American teams in the World Cup, so there is that to consider as well. However, this World Cup has been full of firsts and surprises, so we will have to wait and see.
At 2pm EST on Friday, Brazil and Beligum — two of the top-ranked teams in the World Cup — will face off. Belgium has scored 12 goals thus far in the tournament, the most of any team. They have also demonstrated they can score very different kinds of goals, both long, powerful strikes and headers. The Red Devils also won all three of their group-stage games, and count top players like Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne.
Regarding Brazil, most of the attention will again be on Neymar. The star Paris St-Germain forward drew severe criticism for exaggerating his injuries and wasting time in his team’s 2-0 victory over Mexico on Monday, despite finishing with a goal and an assist. Brazilian defenseman Casemiro is also suspended from the game against Belgium after drawing two total yellow cards. Brazil have won a record five World Cups, while Belgium has never won the tournament.