Half of the field for the quarter-finals have been set in the FIFA World Cup, and while the group stage was full of surprises, it’s been straight chalk in the knockouts. A few Tottenham Hotspur players will try to advance today, including a head-to-head matchup with two of Spurs primary attackers. Let’s recap where we’re at so far before jumping in:
Qualified for the Quarterfinals:
Netherlands (def. United States, 3-1)
Argentina (def. Australia, 2-1)
France (def. Poland, 3-1)
England (def. Senegal, 3-0)
Japan vs. Croatia
Time: 3:00 PM UK, 10:00 AM ET
The Samurai Blue have been tournament darlings thanks to their performance in the group stage, managing to beat out Spain to the top spot in Group E. Their prize is a match with the 2018 runners-up in Croatia. Ivan Perisic and his countrymen haven’t been world beaters, but they survived the group stage on five points and moved on. I have absolutely no pulse on how this one will play out because, on paper, the Croatians seem better but Japan is playing inspired football and momentum can be enough.
Brazil vs. South Korea
Time: 7:00 PM UK, 2:00 PM ET
I’m not sure my heart can handle this one. One of Richarlison or Sonny is going home after this match, and tears will definitely be shed. Brazil will be favored, and they will have Neymar back after he was cleared to train following his nasty looking ankle injury. I would not count out South Korea at all, though. We saw their heroics against Portugal late and there’s no reason they can’t do the same to the South American giants.