Well, how much can change in three weeks? On 14th June, many were not expecting much from England due to the inexperience and quality of other international teams. But in the past few weeks, Gareth Southgate men have seen Spain, Portugal, Germany and Argentina all leaving Russia. Leaving the gap for England to possibly end the 52-year hurt.
Is Football Really Coming Home?
Kylian Mbappe to Shine Again
France have failed to show their quality in the group stage but definitely turned up the tempo against Argentina. One man who created a name for himself was PSG star Kylian Mbappe. The 19-year-old scored two goals and was part of the opening goal with a fantastic run through the heart of Argentina defence. He will be vital to break-down one of the meanest defences in the competition, Uruguay, who sealed a place after a 2-1 victory over Portugal. France’s back-four will also be busy with two of the best strikers in the world, Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani. It what seems like an intriguing game could also be a tight-sighted game with goals galore not likely.
14 Minutes on the Floor, Now Time for Football
The most expensive player ever is still left in the competition and has been grabbing the headlines. However, for the wrong reasons as Neymar has spent 14 minutes on the floor throughout the World Cup. The 25-year-old was desperate to show the world that he is the best after his move to PSG. But failed to make a name for himself but has the opportunity to show billions what he is made of in one of the biggest game of the World Cup. Brazil face Belgium on Friday in one that could decide the World Cup winners. Belgium just scrapped through Japan after scoring in the last seconds to win 3-2 after coming from 2-0 down. This could be the last chance for Belgium as the golden generation is coming to the end.
Russia to Bring Delight for the Home Fans
Russia were the lowest ranked side coming into the World Cup. But after the two opening games, the joy of Russians fans were back after advancing to the knockout stages. Once again, delivered another shock as they knocked out 2010 World Champions Spain on penalties. Now a tougher test awaits in the quarter-finals against Croatia. The quality and experience of Croatia midfield is one of the best and definitely underrated. However, pace might be a hurdle for the European side and could play into Russia’s hands with a counter-attack.
Is Gareth Southgate Really Bringing Football Home?
The past 72 hours in England have been brilliant with the song ‘Football Coming Home’ blasting out. This comes after finally winning a penalty shoot-out against Colombia with Jordan Pickford being a national hero. But is it actually coming home? The three lions face Sweden in the quarter-final. If they overcome them, then it will either be Croatia or Russia in the semis. In the eyes of many, this is England best ever-chance of reaching the World Cup and possibly going all the way. However, Sweden are one of the most organised teams after only conceding two goals throughout this tournament. Despite, all the hype at the minute, the Swedes could provide a tougher test than Colombia.