FIFA Football World Cup Knockouts 2018

It has been a fortnight since the Football World Cup 2018 commenced in Russia. 32 teams from across the world played some scintillating football in the group stages and reaffirmed football's popularity as the most watched sport in the world.

The battle is now set to move to the knockout stages - where you play to win. A loss means you are on the next flight home. A win means you are one steps closer to laying your hands on the glorious trophy. 

A win at the world cup sets the country on the verge of euphoria. This is what every footballer dreams of playing in his life time.

Lets have a quick recap on the results of the group stage.

Group A
Uruguay topped the group, ahead of the hosts Russia. The host country was not given have promising chances at the start of the Cup, but playing in your home country to the cheering crowd is known to boost the adrenaline to unseen levels, propelling the team to victory.

Mo Salah's Egypt were knocked out in the group stage itself.

Group B
No surprises here. Spain and Portugal are through in this group, in that order. Ronaldo has set the Cup on fire with some classy goals, while Spain had some really anxious moments on the way to the top of the group.

Group C
Once again, no surprises here. France and Denmark are through to the group. France is bound to encounter some very heavy traffic in the group stage, if they have to make a move to the finals.

Group D
This group saw the most scintillating battles of the group stage. Going into last round of the group stages, Croatia were already through , while both Argentina and Nigeria had great chances to move ahead. Argentina had a last gasp winner in the last round and have made it to the knockout stages with Croatia. 

Messi, finally, found the net, in the last match, and looked up to the heavens to say Thanks. For Argentina to move ahead, they will need his individual brilliance and team work.

Group E
This group saw Brazil and Switzerland move ahead. Both these teams worked like well oiled machines. Serbia and Costa Rica were knocked out in the group stages from this group.

Group F
This one saw the biggest upset of the Cup.

Defending Champions Germany were knocked out. Reams can be written about the German bandwagon coming to a halt. Mexico and Sweden made it through, with Sweden being the surprise package.

Group G
One of the easiest group of the Cup, Belgium and England are both through. Belgium has scored the highest number of goals in the group stage - a cool 9. England are not back with 8 goals.

Group H
This was a battle between mid ranked teams. Colombia and Japan are through in this group. Poland had high expectations, but they faltered and came in last. Senegal played well, but didn't have enough arsenal to make it to the knockouts.

The next few days promises some high octane football. The best teams in the world at the moment will play against each other at some very picturesque cities across Russia.

For all hardcore fans, the schedule looks like below :-
30 June to 3 July - The Round of 16
6 and 7 July - The Quarter Finals
10 and 11 July - The Semi Finals (remember, these are working days!)
15 July - The Finals

How does the road ahead look for these teams. Lets have a quick lowdown, with some predictions to make things a tad exciting.

The Round of 16 battle goes as below :-

Srl Match Fixture Level Possible Winner
1 Uruguay Vs Portugal Battle Royale Portugal
2 France Vs Argentina Derby Argentina
3 Spain Vs Russia Medium Spain
4 Croatia Vs Denmark Medium Croatia
5 Brazil Vs Mexico Battle Royale Brazil
6 Belgium Vs Japan Easy Belgium
7 Sweden Vs Switzerland Medium Switzerland
8 Colombia Vs England Medium England

The Quarter Final Line Up will look like below :-

Srl Match Possible Winner
1 Portugal Vs Argentina Argentina
2 Brazil Vs Belgium Belgium
3 Spain Vs Croatia Spain
4 Switzerland Vs England England

The Semi Finals will be as below.

Srl Match Possible Winner
1 Argentina Vs Belgium Argentina
2 Spain Vs England England

And the finals will be between Argentina and England. And may the best team win among these two !!

The next set of matches will be defined by individual brilliance, watchful defending, elegant passes, classy strikes, curling free kicks and defining saves in front of the goal. The VAR will play a big role. Any physical play in the box will attract a penalty under the watchful eyes of the VAR and can induce the team into a loss.

All in all, it is bound to be a superb fortnight of world class games. Happy watching !!

FIFA Football World Cup Knockouts 2018 FIFA Football World Cup Knockouts 2018 Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Saturday, June 30, 2018 Rating: 5


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