The tension is mounting, as only eight nations remain in Russia…
2018 FIFA World Cup, continues on BBC + ITV
Here we are, then. The World Cup quarter-finals. Win your next three games and you’re champions of the world.
With just eight sides left, there’s more pressure than ever. For the players, one mistake can spell disaster. But one moment of magic and suddenly the final – and potential sporting immortality – is in sight.
The World Cup quarter-finals always produce drama of the very highest order, but what should you expect to see when the action kicks off? We’ve crunched the numbers and consulted our crystal ball to give you five things that will happen…
1. Star players will shine
Teams look to their top dogs to win them quarter-finals, and a quick skim through the history books will show you that, more often than not, the big names score in these games. Dennis Bergkamp, Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry (above), Thomas Muller and David Villa are just some of the icons who have found the net at this stage of the tournament in recent times.
2. There will be penalties
The last nine World Cups have seen penalty shootouts take place in the quarter-finals. What does that mean? It means we’re pretty much destined to witness the agony and the ecstasy of spot kicks in Russia. Nerves will be shredded. Balls will be blasted into orbit. But Germany won’t win because they’re already out!
3. Fans will weep
England supporters know all too well what it’s like to falter at the World Cup quarter-final stage. After all, the Three Lions have lost six of them. And one thing that goes hand in hand with an early exit is tears. Gallons and gallons of salty tears. Expect cameras to focus mercilessly on sob-tastic men, women and children if their team goes out.
4. VAR will get involved
Whether you think the Video Assistant Referee is a giant leap for mankind or pure witchcraft, it’s been the talk of the 2018 World Cup. VAR is likely to create even more controversy in the quarter-finals, leading an incensed Alan Shearer to lose what small trace of cool he has left.
5. Football will still be coming home
Despite England’s woeful record in World Cup Quarter-finals, they’ll beat Sweden. And that’s that.
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