The titleholders France will advance to the Semifinals
This is our 2022 World Cup special edition series. For the third part, we present our prediction for the Knock-out stage Quarterfinals.
Netherlands vs Argentina
If this would be the days of Wesley Sneijder, the Netherlands will certainly have a chance. They still have the old timers such as Vincent Janssen and Daley Blind. But they really don’t have their usual brilliance. There’s still plenty of talent in this squad. And of course, there’s Frenkie de Jong who will take the charge.
The Netherlands will likely employ a 5-3-2 format with three centre-backs, flanked by attacking wing-backs. This is against Argentina’s 4-3-3 format. The Netherlands need to destroy that formidable centre-back of Argentina.
Lionel Messi will have strong support from the likes of midfielder mainstay Rodrigo De Paul and another strong attacker Angel Di María. The favorites Argentina will definitely win this one. (Goal Projection: 2-0 Argentina).
Spain vs Brazil
This will be another great match. Both favorites, Brazil will likely triumph in the end. Both will have the same 4-3-3 format (with Neymar leading the charge for Brazil. (Goal Projection: 1-1; Brazil on penalties).
England vs France
England will have a hard time employing their dirty tricks against the formidable and disciplined France squad. The titleholders might be missing some key players. England, on the other hand, has never been stronger.
England will have a difficult time breaking that defense of Raphael Varane, Lucas Hernandez, and Benjamin Pavard. France can even revert to a back-four with Theo Hernandez. That should frustrate Harry Kane even with Phil Foden, Mason Mount, and Raheem Sterling on his back.
England will not be able to employ their precious set pieces against France. The titleholders will advance to the semifinals. (Goal Projection: 2-0 France).
Germany v Portugal
The two teams are not high up the list of favorites but this will nonetheless be an interesting match. I can see a repeat of the qualifiers match last year. Portugal will start strong but Germany will pull it together in time for a counter-attack. But without Robin Gosens this time. Though coach Hans Flick will have plenty of choices from Kai Havertz, Leroy Sane, and Serge Gnabry.
It will be a 4-2-3-1 format for the former World champions. Havertz will be on the lead behind Thomas Muller with Sane and Gnabry on the wings. They will have to penetrate the solid back-line of Portugal led by Manchester City skipper Ruben Dias. (Goal Projection: 2-1 Germany).
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