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The group stage and the Round of 16 at the World Cup in Russia is the history, and now we have the best eight teams on the planet who will battle for the trophy, so let’s take the look at the updated odds on the possible winners.
After a slow start and a draw with Switzerland, Brazil won the following three matches without conceding a single goal. Although it will be tough to keep the net intact against such offensive weapons that Belgium has, the Selecao is a favorite at +114 to make it through to the semis. The players are still under a lot of pressure to go all the way after a disastrous campaign four years ago when they hosted a tournament, so this game will give us a clearer picture of their current quality.
The Blues didn’t impress in the group stage despite finishing at the top ahead of Denmark, but they showed the world why they are one of the favorites to win in Russia with a 4-3 victory over Argentina. France is a favorite at +100 to beat Uruguay, and although it seems that this game would be easier than it was with the Albiceleste, Didier Deschamps’ side must be aware of the Sky Blues defensive qualities and Luis Suarez’s killer instinct.
The Three Lions passed a relatively easy couple of test in the first two games at the World Cup, and they evidently didn’t want to win against Belgium so they could get an easier part of the bracket. The calculation paid off for now as England eliminated Colombia and got Sweden in the quarter-finals, so Gareth Southgate’s men are widely expected to make it to the semis.
The Blazers were one of three teams that collected maximum points in the group stage, but their display in the Round of 16 against Denmark wasn’t very impressive. Croatia had the luck to face Russia instead of Spain, which would be a lot harder match for them, so the entire planet is anticipating a victory over the hosts. If they managed to do it, anything could happen.
This golden generation of Belgium players won nothing yet, and now they have excellent opportunity to enter a battle for the medal and among the top four teams on the planet. However, they have to eliminate Brazil in order to reach the semis, and that is a mountain to climb for the Red Devils, but after watching them coming from two goals behind to snatch a last-second win over Japan in the Round of 16, the entire nation is keeping faith they can go all the way.
The Sky Blues were a bit lucky to beat Portugal in the 1/8 finals, but they lost Edinson Cavani in the process and the PSG striker is unavailable to help his teammates in the clash with France. It’s a major blow for Uruguay, and even though they can defend very well, having only Suarez in the attack to rely on might be a problem. They are the underdogs against the Blues, and the quarter-finals here is not a bad achievement at all, and although they would want more, I don’t think they are good enough to knock out the Frenchman.
The hosts are the biggest surprise of the World Cup as nobody believed they can get this far, but the luck must turn its back on them sometimes, and I think they will have no chance in a tilt with Croatia. Russia defended magnificently and Stanislav Cherchesov’s tactics proved to be a winning recipe in a match with Spain, but I don’t believe it will work against the Blazers.
Although the bookies are not giving them such a credit, I think that the Swedes actually have a better chance to reach the finals and eventually win a trophy than the Russians. Sweden is familiar with England’s style of play as they faced them frequently in the past and will be highly motivated to eliminate the Three Lions after reaching the quarter-finals for the first time since the golden generation in 1994.