Argentina, Brazil, France, and Germany will advance to the quarterfinals.
Our 2022 World Cup special edition series continues. For the second part of our series, we present our prediction in the knock-out stage Round of 16.
Netherlands vs Wales
After a creepy but oddly satisfying reveal, we finally have the official Netherlands squad. There are questions about including the once-upon-a-time brilliant Vincent Janssen (in the attacking position). And why the hell Jasper Cillessen and Mark Flekken were left out as goalkeepers? It’s the weakest spot for this squad. Still hoping for Daley Blind to shine again in a World Cup and of course. All hopes will rest on their star player Frenkie de Jong in the midfield.
Gareth Bales’ squad will be hard-pressed to defeat this still formidable Netherlands team. Our best prediction for Wales: an early goal that will put pressure on the Dutch defense, or a penalty shoot-out. Thing is, for the latter, the Dutch might have the upper hand. (Goal Projection: 1-0 Netherlands).
Argentina vs Denmark
Denmark have had a series of strong performances in the Nations League and the qualifiers but unless they top their group, they will, unfortunately, face Argentina. The Danish squad does not yet have the level of experience to counter the strong Argentina side. (Goal Projection: 3-1 Argentina).
Spain vs Croatia
The burning question is, can the 2018 runners-up Croatia defeat one of the favorites Spain? It is certainly a possibility with Luka Modrić and Ivan Perišić at its helm. On the other side, the players to watch are Gavi, Álvaro Morata, and Pedri. (Goal Projection: 2-1 Spain).
Brazil vs Uruguay
Despite a strong showing from Uruguay during the Copa America, the team does not yet have the depth or skills to counter Brazil. For one, Brazil have a strong goalkeeper. The 5-time World Cup champions will win this match, no doubt. (Goal Projection: 2-0 Brazil).
England vs Ecuador
England have a strong squad coming from excellent performances in Euro 2020, Nations League, and the qualifiers. Gareth Southgate has put up a strong lineup with an equally skillful reserve.
They will possibly employ a 3-4-3 formation with a heavy reliance on corner kicks and penalty kicks. Expect this old and cowardly trick from this squad. Oh, and yeah, they will win against Ecuador. (Goal Projection: 3-0 England).
France vs Poland
The titleholders will have a hard time with a still formidable Polish squad. France might have a problem adjusting to some missing key players. The danger is, if they dropped to a runner-up position in the group stage, they will have a hard time with the likes of favorites Argentina and Brazil.
Is there a chance France will be kicked out after the group stage via the curse? It is possible but Australia need all the luck it could get for it to happen. (Goal Projection: 1-0 France).
Germany vs Belgium
No Robin Gosens in the German squad but this is an all-star team with depth and experience. As long as they keep their consistency, they could erase the painful memory of their early exit during the 2018 World Cup.
From their star goalkeepers to their impressive defensive lineup, the 2014 titleholders can go a long way. Kai Havertz of course will lead his team on the attack. They had an easy draw but a runner-up finish can be good for Germany.
Belgium is still a formidable opponent despite what skeptics are saying. There’s still Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard to contend with. And their goalkeeper is pretty decent, too. But if I were Germany, I’d rather face a shaky Belgium than Croatia, who like them, can build their confidence in the field over time. In any case, this will be a hell of a match. (Goal Projection: 2-1 Germany).
Portugal vs Switzerland
Switzerland can still get past Portugal but the latter’s lineup is much stronger, at least on paper. The Swiss had a mixed performance in the recent tournaments and experts are not that impressed, hence their low probability of reaching far in this World Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo will have a chance to redeem himself on the road to a World Cup title. But to be honest, the team behind him is much weaker, especially when we compare it to that of what Messi has. (Goal Projection: 0-0, Portugal on penalties).
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