Home Sport Soccer Who will walk away with title still anyone’s guess

Who will walk away with title still anyone’s guess

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This afternoon Uruguay meet France in Nizhny Novgorod, and Brazil play Belgium in Kazan in the evening.

World Cup - Argentina Training

An incredible triumph for the hosts; another star on the shirt for Brazil, France, Uruguay or England; or a first-ever World Cup success for Sweden, Belgium or Croatia?

Those are the possible plotlines as the World Cup finals taking place in Russia reach the quarter-final stage.

This afternoon Uruguay meet France in Nizhny Novgorod, and Brazil play Belgium in Kazan in the evening.

Tomorrow Sweden face England in Samara, and Russia play Croatia in Sochi.

All eyes will be on teen sensation Kylian Mbappe this afternoon after his devastating performance against Argentina sent Lionel Messi packing in the last 16.

Mbappe was set to go head-to-head with club teammate Edinson Cavani but the Paris Saint-Germain forward is struggling to overcome a calf injury to be fit for the game.

There will be at least one meeting of club teammates when France forward Antoine Griezmann goes up against Uruguay’s Diego Godin. Both ply their club trade with Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann (pictured) has spoken this week about the huge influence Godin has had on his career saying: “Diego is a great friend on and off the pitch that’s why he is godfather to my little girl.”

Griezmann is something of an honorary Uruguayan within the ranks of his club side, sipping the traditional “Mate” herbal tea with Godin.

He has been talking up his love for the country this week saying: “It’s a nationality that I adore.”

But his comments did not impress Uruguay’s Luis Suarez who said: “For all that he says he is half Uruguayan, he is French. He does not know what it really feels like to be Uruguayan.”

In today’s second quarter-final, Belgium meet the increasingly impressive Brazil.

Belgian hearts are still racing after their three-goal comeback against Japan that culminated in a lightning counter-attack to win the game at the death.

Brazil’s path to this stage has been far less dramatic with Tite’s team basing progress on a solid defence that has only conceded one goal so far.

Brazil have left-back Marcelo back in training as they plot a way to keep another clean sheet against the tournament’s second leading goalscorer Romelu Lukaku who has netted four times.

The one man with more goals than Lukaku in Russia is England’s Harry Kane. The six-goal striker will lead Gareth Southgate’s side against Sweden fresh from scoring in England’s first ever successful World Cup penalty shoot-out.

England face Sweden who, despite reaching the quarter-finals for only the second time – they were beaten by Brazil in the final in 1958 – are still desperate for more.

Sweden coach Janne Andersson said:”It’s full steam ahead and we are going to put in a bloody good match,” after beating Switzerland. “We are not satisfied with this. We want to win the next game.”

Croatia meet Russia in the final quarter-final. Luka Modric and company needed penalties to get past a stubborn Denmark. Their opponents Russia also came through via spot-kicks.

They let Spain play over a thousand passes against them in the last 16 to then see them off in the shoot-out, scoring all their penalties as Koke and Iago Aspas missed for the Spanish.

dpa