Quarter finals have been completed. You can review current and past World Cup 2018 results here
As the FIFA World Cup finally enters its knockout rounds, we now have the complete list of the 16 teams that have qualified from the group, as well as their fixtures ahead, including the path all the way to the final.
As we now know all the round of 16 fixtures, let us take a look at the favourites to qualify for the quarterfinals, based on the latest betting odds.
The Red Devils are the undisputed favourites to qualify for the quarterfinals, as they have been rewarded for topping their group by being allotted the easiest fixture in this round, against lowly ranked Japan. Belgium won their group convincingly, with 3 wins out of 3, scoring 9 goals in the process and conceding just 2. Japan, on the other hand, qualified only on the virtue of having a better fair play record than Senegal, and would be expected to be brushed aside by Eden Hazard’s men on their way to the quarter final.
Brazil are the next heavy favourites to qualify for the quarter finals, despite being given a tricky fixture against high-flying Mexico. The Selecao finished their group strongly with back-to-back wins, after a disappointing draw in the opening game against Switzerland. Mexico started the World Cup very strongly, with a huge upset over Germany. However, they were completely thrashed by Sweden in their final game, and Brazil would be confident of sweeping them away on their march to the quarter finals.
Spain also have the same odds as Brazil to qualify for the quarter finals, having been placed in the favourable section of the draw, with no particularly tough game till the Semifinal stage. After drawing their first game 3-3 with Portugal, they earned a narrow win over Iran but could only muster a draw against Morocco in their final game. They are too reliant on Diego Costa for their goals but if their midfielders step up they will be very hard to stop. They face hosts Russia, who achieved brilliant victories in their first 2 games before being brought down to earth by Uruguay in a 3-0 thrashing. We expect Spain to comfortably qualify for the final 8.
The next favourites for the quarter final stage are Croatia, who are one of only 3 teams to have won all 3 of their games in the group stages. The highlight of their tournament so far was an unbelievable 3-0 thrashing of Argentina, as they proved they are more than capable of taking down the giants of international football and provide a genuine challenge for the trophy. They are pitted against Denmark, who have been defensively solid and remained unbeaten in their group. Denmark scored just 2 goals however, and we expect Croatia to outplay them and qualify with ease for the final 8.
Completing the top 5 favourites to reach the quarter finals, are England, who have surprised many with their form of late. Despite scraping to a narrow win in their first game against Tunisia, England completely ripped apart Panama in their second match as they became the only side in the tournament to score 6 goals in one match, with star striker Harry Kane netting a hattrick. They lost their last game to Belgium in which both sides fielded weak lineups, having already qualified, and with first place not exactly guaranteeing an easy path ahead. They face an unpredictable Colombian side, who opened their campaign with a damaging defeat against Japan, but bounced back brilliantly to win their remaining two games and top the group. This could be an entertaining fixture but we expect England to go through eventually.
Apart from these 5 teams, the other top teams like France, Uruguay, Portugal, Argentina all have tough fixtures against each other, which are not easy to predict, hence the odds are not exactly stacked in their favour to qualify for the final 8. Probably the most balanced tie in the round of 16 is between Switzerland and Sweden, with both teams boasting of similar recent records.