No rest for football fans, the Round of 16 kicks off today in Qatar, with two matches a day. Here are Generation:Football’s official prediction for the first knockout round!
The Netherlands didn’t play particularly well in the group stage, but still managed to go through with 7 points. They scored 5 goals and conceded one, which means they score and average of less than 2 goals a game. We don’t believe the US are a stronger team than Senegal or Ecuador, so our bet is 2-0 for the Dutch.
Argentina started the tournament horrendously, as they’ve lost against Saudi Arabia, but managed to climb back in a pretty impressive fashion. They had some difficulty in beating Mexico’s low block, but when you have players like Messi or Enzo Fernandes, long range shots can be effective. Australia only conceded 4 in a group with France, Denmark and Tunisia, so we shouldn’t expect a huge result. A comfortable 2-0 for France.
France looked impressive in their first two games, but failed to play well against Tunisia, although Deschamps did experiment with his starting 11 in that match. All in all, Les Bleus are huge favorites, even more so considering that Poland didn’t play good football at all, only scoring two goals throughout the group stage. Another 2-0 prediction? You bet!
England looked great against Iran and Wales, but not so much against the United States. We do expect them to be back to their usual self though and take the game to Senegal. The Africans are quite an offensive team though, having scored 5 times in the group stage, so we do expect they will score. 3-1 England.
Japan caused a huge upset by finishing first in a group consisting of Germany and Spain, however apart from heroic moments, they did not dominate any of their matches. Croatia on the other hand looked great against Canada and decent against Belgium and Morocco. It seems Zlatko Dalic’ boys can shift gears whenever needed and we expect them to beat Japan. 2-1 for Modric and co.
Even though they didn’t score a lot, Brazil did look impressive versus Switzerland and Serbia, not enabling even a shot on goal to the opposition. The South Americans did lose against Cameroon in the last match, which almost cost them first play, however we don’t see them getting eliminated by South Korea. Uruguay and Ghana did not look impressive, Group H wasn’t the hardest to go through from at the end. We expect Brazil to have more problems scoring though, so 1-0.
If we praised Japan, we need to do the same for Morocco, as they’ve finished first in a group with Croatia, Belgium and Canada. With that being said, they scored a total of 4 goals, which is nothing to write home about, while Spain looked great in some periods of their games, while poor in others. Luis Enrique and his boys are most definitely favorites and we think it’s time to get back to a 2-0 prediction.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s last World Cup and it seems the media just won’t stop talking about him. This is kind of unfair to the rest of the team, as the team led by Fernando Santos played very well in the group stage. They beat Uruguay and Ghana, but lost to South Korea and in a game which was meaningless for them. On the other hand, the Swiss are always a solid team, they are hard to break down, however they did show that they can attack against Serbia. 2-1 CR7 and co.