World Cup 2018 Quarter-Finals Preview: Team-By-Team Guide
With the round of 16 complete, we now know the final eight teams left in the World Cup 2018. There has been plenty of drama, shocks, and talking-points throughout the tournament so far and there is bound to be many more as we edge closer to finding out who will lift the famous trophy. Let's look at the remaining countries, how they got here, and what they can expect in their respective quarter-final fixtures.
Arriving at the World Cup with high expectations, France has so far delivered. Boasting numerous household names in the form of Pogba, Mbappe, and Kante, this is the strongest France squad since they lifted the trophy on home soil in 1998. They cruised through qualification, topping a group containing Sweden and the Netherlands losing only once in the process.
The Story So Far
Placed in a group with Australia, Peru, and Denmark, many fancied France to swagger through the opening rounds and cruise into the last 16 with ease. However, there were some hiccups along the way, namely in their first clash against Australia when an 80th-minute Behich own goal saved their blushes in a 2-1 victory. A routine 1-0 win against Peru followed by a 0-0 draw with Denmark saw France top the group and meet Argentina in the round of 16.
What followed is easily the game of the tournament so far with two heavyweights battling it out with thrilling attacking football. After taking the lead, the French contrived to fall 2-1 behind in the second half. However, a 10-minute blitz, led by teenage sensation Killian Mbappe, gave the French a 4-2 lead which was enough to go through to the quarter-finals despite a late goal from Argentina.
The French seem to have come into form at the right time and now face Uruguay in the quarter-finals. Breaking down a strong Uruguayan defense is no easy feat, but with the embarrassment of riches the French boast up front they will enter the last eight as strong favorites to progress. If they can replicate their performance from the round of 16, it is difficult to see any team stopping them from going all the way and lifting the trophy for the second time.