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Fifa World Cup 2018: Knockout matches that will knock your socks off!!

Here we bring to you details of all matches in the Round of 16 and predict who might have an upper hand in the knockout stages.

BS Web team 

(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock)

After several closely-fought matches and quite a few shock results in Russia, 2018 has reached the knockout stages. It's do-or-die time for the teams that have entered the Group of 16.

The first match in this stage will be played on June 30, Saturday, between France and Argentina, the two star-studded teams that been underwhelming, given the star power in both the teams. The last match in this phase will be played between Colombia and England on July 3. Just eight teams will advance to the next round (quarterfinals).

Likely close-counters (matches to look out for): France vs Argentina, Croatia vs Denmark, Uruguay vs Portugal.

The teams that have qualified:

GROUP A: Uruguay & Russia

GROUP B: Spain & Portugal

GROUP C: France & Denmark

GROUP D: Croatia & Argentina

GROUP E: Brazil & Switzerland

GROUP F: Sweden & Mexico

GROUP G: Belgium & England

GROUP H: Colombia & Japan


June 30 (Saturday):

France vs Argentina: Kick off at 7:30 p.m. IST at Kazan Arena Stadium.

Form in last 5 matches:

How the World Cup favourites are shaping up

France's record: W-W-D-W-W-D (France have been miserable, by their standards, but they have also been able to grind out results. Proof: Their three goals in as many matches despite boasting a fantastic attacking power. But they are yet to lose a match, although they weren't really tested during the group stage).

France's final 23-man squad is:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Adil Rami (Olympique de Marseille), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Steven N'Zonzi (Sevilla), Paul (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Ousmane (Barcelona), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine (Atletico Madrid), (Monaco), Kylian (Paris Saint-Germain), Florian Thauvin (Olympique de Marseille).

Photo: Reuters

Argentina vs Croatia (Photo: Reuters)

Argentina's record: W-L-W-D-L-W (Argentina have come back from the dead. They drew their first match and lost 0-3 to Croatia. But Croatia's win over Iceland and Argentina's narrow 2-1 win over Nigeria in their last group game means they are now in the knockout stage. But this team has been heavily reliant on with no clear tactical plans and lack of cohesion in the team. They'll have to improve, massively).

Here is the full list of Argentina’s 23-member squad:

Goalkeepers: Wilfredo Caballero (Chelsea/England), Franco Armani (River Plate).

Defenders: Cristian Ansaldi (Torino/Italy), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla/Spain), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City/England), Federico Fazio (Roma/Italy), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United/England), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon/Portugal), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax/Netherlands).,

Midfielders: Javier (Hebei China Fortune/China PR), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain/France), Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain/France), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham/England), Ever Banega (Sevilla/Spain), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan/Italy), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica/Portugal).

Forwards: Paulo (Juventus/Italy), Gonzalo (Juventus/Italy), (Barcelona/Spain), (Manchester City/England).

Players to watch out for: N'Golo Kante, Messi

Google prediction: France wins (40%), Draw (32%), Argentina (28%)

Trivia: The two teams will be facing each other for the 12th time in finals.


Uruguay vs Portugal: Kick off at 11:30 p.m. IST at Fisht Stadium, Sochi.

Form in last 5 matches

Laxalt extends the lead for Uruguay

Uruguay's record: W-W-W-W-W- (Uruguay have been good. They have scored five goals in three matches without conceding any. Also, they gathered the maximum nine points from three games. Although, they were in a relatively easy group, it shouldn't take anything away from the resolve the team has shown, especially in defence).

Uruguay squad:

Goalkeepers: Martin Campana (Independiente), Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama).

Defenders: Martin Caceres (Lazio), Sebastian Coates (Sporting), Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Maximiliano Pereira (Porto), Gaston Silva (Independiente), Guillermo Varela (Penarol).

Midfielders: Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro), Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus), Diego Laxalt (Genoa), Nahitan Nandez (Boca Juniors), Cristian Rodriguez (Penarol), Carlos Sanchez (Monterrey), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria), Matias Vecino (Inter).

Forwards: Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Maximiliano Gomez (Celta Vigo), (Barcelona), Cristhian Stuani (Girona), Jonathan Urretaviscaya (Monterrey).

Fifa World Cup 2018: Knockout matches that will knock your socks off!!

Portugal's record: D-W-D-W-D (Portugal isn't a one-man team but one man is carrying the team in this They have scored five goals, four of them by Ronaldo, in three matches, but have conceded four goals too. Should a match come when Ronaldo doesn't click, the rest will have to do something they haven't done this entire tournament -- show up.

Players to watch out for: Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes , Beto , Rui Patricio

Defenders: Bruno Alves , Cedric Soares, Jose Fonte, Mario Rui , Pepe , Raphael Guerreiro , Ricardo Pereira , Ruben Dias

Midfielders: Adrien Silva , Bruno Fernandes , Joao Mario , Joao Moutinho, Manuel Fernandes , William Carvalho

Forwards: Andre Silva , Bernardo Silva , (Real Madrid), Gelson Martins , Goncalo Guedes, Ricardo Quaresma

Google prediction: Uruguay wins (34%), Draw (34%), Portugal wins (32%)

Trivia: This will be the first time the two teams are facing each other in a World Cup.


July 1 (Sunday)

Spain vs Russia: Kick off at 7:30 p.m. IST at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.

Form in last 5 matches

Spain: Return of the king? (Team Profile)

Spain's record: D-W-D-W-D (Spain have been good in attack (six goals in three matches) but their defence has been shambolic (five goals in three matches). Their midfield is their biggest strength, but Spain have shown inadequacy in breaking down the defence that sit deep.

Spain's 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: David (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Kepa (Athletic Bilbao)

Defenders: Dani Carvajal(Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos(Real Madrid), Nacho (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba(Barcelona), Gerard (Barcelona), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Odriozola (Real Sociedad)

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets(Barcelona), Andres (Barcelona) Saúl, (both Atletico), Thiago (Bayern) (Manchester City), Isco, Marco Asensio, Lucas Vázquez (all Real Madrid)

Forwards: Iago Aspas (Celta), Rodrigo (Valencia), (Atletico)

russia goal

Russia's record: L-W-W-D-L (Russia cruised along in their first two matches against relatively easier opponents (eight goals in first two games), but when tested by Uruguay they folded and lost the match (they conceded three and scored none). Against Spain, Russia will have to pull a rabbit out of their hat to advance through, although they will have the home advantage.

Players to watch out for: Alarcon for Spain, Denis Cheryshev for Russia

Google prediction: Spain wins (60%), Draw (24%), Russia (16%)

Trivia: Russia have never beaten Spain.


Croatia vs Denmark: Kick off at 11:30 p.m. IST at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod.

Form in last 5 matches

Photo: Reuters

Croatia's record: W-W-W-W-L (Croatia have been fantastic. The perennial dark horses have really turned it up in the ongoing tournament. The golden generation of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic, and Ivan Perisic have possibly the last opportunity to win a silverware, and they like hell-bent on doing exactly that. At least, that's what their performances have shown. (Eg: Their performance against Argentina.)

Croatia's 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco/FRA), Lovre Kalinic (Gent/BEL), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb)

Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas/TUR), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria/ITA), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool/ENG), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Josip Pivaric (Dinamo Kiev/UKR), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Matej Mitrovic (Club Brugge/BEL), Duje Caleta-Car (Salzburg/AUT)

Midfielders: (Real Madrid/ESP), (Barcelona/ESP), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid/ESP), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina/ITA), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan/ITA), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka)

Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus/ITA), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan/ITA), Nikola Kalinic (AC Milan/ITA), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim/GER), Marko Pjaca (Schalke/GER), Ante Rebic (Eintracht/GER).

(Photo: Reuters)

Denmark's record: D-D-W-W-D (Denmark have been fast from their best in the ongoing tournament. Although, to be fair, they did have a tough group. They won just one match and drew the other two, scoring two and conceding one in the process). Christian Eriksen has been absolutely vital, as you'd expect him to be.

Denmark's 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Frederik Ronow (Brondby), Jesper Hansen (FC Midtjylland)

Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Andreas Bjelland (Brentford), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Peter Ankersen (FC Copenhagen), Jens Stryger (Udinese), Riza Durmisi (Real Betis), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich), Nicolai Boilesen (FC Copenhagen)

Midfielders: William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Mike Jensen (Rosenborg), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Daniel Wass (Celta Vigo), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Southampton), Mathias Jensen (FC Nordsjaelland), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), Robert Skov (FC Copenhagen)

Forwards: Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Nicklas Bendtner (Rosenborg), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax), Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff)

Players to watch out for: for Croatia, Christian Eriksen for Denmark

Google prediction: Croatia wins (51%), Draw (29%), Denmark (20%)

Trivia: This is Croatia's second time to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup after 1998


July 2 (Monday)

Brazil vs Mexico: Kick off at 7:30 p.m. IST in Cosmos Arena, Samara.

Form in last 5 matches

Fifa World Cup 2018 Brazil vs Switzerland live: Lineups out! Neymar returns

Brazil's record: W-W-D-W-W (Brazil are winning, but that's it. Gone are the days of 'joga bonito', Brazilian excellence on pitch, or a joyous performance. Philipe bailed the team out twice with his trademark curling shots from outside the box but the team really needs to jel.)

Brazil's 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City), Cassio (Corinthians Sao Paulo)

Defenders: Miranda (Inter Milan), Marquinhos, Thiago Silva (both Paris Saint-Germain), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Fagner (Corinthians), Pedro Geromel (Gremio), Danilo (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), (FC Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe (FC Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Forwards: (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Douglas Costa (Juventus), (Paris Saint-Germain), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk)

mexico win

Mexico's record: L-W--W-L-W (Mexico have been stoic in defence, except for the last match against Sweden). This has been made possible largely due to Guillermo Ochoa, who have been an absolute rock. Going forward, Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez have been fantastic.)

Mexico's 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Jose Corona, Alfredo Talavera, Guillermo Ochoa

Defenders: Hugo Ayala, Carlos Salcedo, Marquez Rafael, Diego Reyes, Hector Moreno, Herrera Hector, Alvarez Edson

Midfielders: Dos Santos Jonathan, Layum Miguel, Dos Santos Giovani, Corona Jesus, Guardado Andres, Aquino Javier, Gallardo Jesus

Forwards: Fabian Marco, Raul Jimenez, Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez, Peralta Oribe, Lozano Hirving

Players to watch out for: Philipe for Brazil, Guillermo Ochoa for Mexico

Google prediction: Brazil wins (65%), Draw (23%), Mexico wins (12%)

Trivia: Brazil last failed to reach the quarter-finals back in 1990.


Belgium vs Japan: Kick off at 11:30 p.m. IST in Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don.

Form in last 5 matches

Belgium National team

Belgium's record: W-W-W-W-W (Belgium have had a rollicking start to the tournament and they are scoring at will. has shown how deadly he can be with his finishing skills but the team has been fantastic all around the pitch.)

Belgium's 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg/GER), (Chelsea/ENG), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool/ENG), Matz Sels (Newcastle/ENG, on loan at Anderlecht)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham/ENG), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic/SCO), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles FC/USA), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Christian Kabasele (Watford/ENG), (Manchester City/ENG), Jordan Lukaku (Lazio/ITA), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona/ESP), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham/ENG)

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yinfang/CHN), Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion/ENG), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/ENG), Mousa (Tottenham/ENG), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United/ENG), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad/ESP), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Youri Tielemans (Monaco/FRA), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian/CHN)

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea/ENG, on loan at Borussia Dortmund/GER), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace/ENG), Eden Hazard (Chelsea/ENG), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach/GER), (Manchester United/ENG), (Naples/ITA)

Osako. (Photo: @FifaWorldCup twitter)

Japan's record: L-D-W-W-L (Japan haven't been very decisive in their performances. They have been bailed out either by penalties or their 'fair play'. Although, they have worked hard but that might not be enough to see them through to the next phase.)

Japan's 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol)

Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers)

Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale)

Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz)

Players to watch out for: for Belgium, Shinji Kagawa for Japan

Google prediction: Belgium wins (70%), Draw (20%), Japan wins (10%)

Trivia: Only in 2002 (5) Japan scored more goals in a single World Cup tournament than the four they've scored so far in 2018


July 3 (Tuesday)

Sweden vs Switzerland: Kick off at 7:30 p.m. IST in Saint Petersburg Stadium.

Form in last 5 matches

Sweden on the verge of winning

Sweden's record: W-L-W-D-D (Sweden have scored five and conceded two in three matches, gathering six points in the process. Sweden's warrior spirit has been a huge factor in their performances.)

Sweden's 23 man squad:

Goalkeepers: Robin Olsen (FC Copenhagen/Denmark), Karl-Johan Johnsson (Guingamp/France), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Swansea City/Wales)

Defenders: Mikael Lustig (Celtic/Scotland), Victor Nilsson-Lindelof (Manchester United/England), (Krasnodar/Russia), Martin Olsson (Swansea City/Wales), Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen/Germany), Filip Helander (Bologna/Italy), Pontus Jansson (Leeds United/England), Emil Krafth (Bologna/Italy)

Midfielders: Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig/Germany), Albin Ekdal (Hamburg/ Germany), Viktor Claesson (Krasnodar/Russia), Gustav Svensson (Seattle Sounders/USA), Sebastian Larsson (Hull City/England), Jimmy Durmaz (Toulouse/France), Oscar Hiljemark (Genoa/Italy), Marcus Rohden (Crotone/Italy)

Forwards: Marcus Berg (Al Ain/UAE), Ola Toivonen (Toulouse/France), John Guidetti (Celta Vigo/Spain), Isaac Kiese-Thelin (Waasland-Beveren/Belgium)

Switzerland 1 - Costa Rica 0

Switzerland's record: D-W-D-W-D (Switzerland pulled off a memorable win against Serbia in which Xherdan and scored. They also stirred up a bit of a controversy. But their performances haven't been that memorable offer.)

Switzerland's 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach).

Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (Milan), Fabian Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna).

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan (Stoke City), (Arsenal), Steven Zuber (1899 Hoffenheim), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach).

Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Monchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica).

Players to watch out for: for Sweden, Xherdan for Switzerland

Google prediction: Sweden wins (31%), Draw (32%), Switzerland (37%)

Trivia: Andreas Granqvist's goal was the first penalty scored by Sweden at the World Cup since 2002, when Henrik Larsson netted against Nigeria. (Source: OptaJoe)


Colombia vs England: Kick off at 11:30 IST in Spartak Stadium, Moscow.

Form in last 5 matches

Fifa World Cup 2018: Knockout matches that will knock your socks off!!

Colombia's record: W-W-L-D-D (Colombia did well to see off Poland and Senegal that sees them advance to the Round of 16, which is an achievement since they qualified from a rather tricky group. Colombia have scored five and conceded two in these matches and has chipped in with two goals despite being a defender.)

The 23-man Colombia squad:

Goalkeepers: Jose Cuadrado, David Ospina, Camilo Vargas

Defenders: Santiago Arias, Frank Fabra, Yerry Mina, Johan Mojica, Oscar Murillo, Davinson Sanchez, Cristian Zapata.

Midfielders: Abel Aguilar, Wilmar Barrios, Juan Cuadrado, Jefferson Lerma, Juan Quintero, James Rodriguez, Carlos Sanchez, Mateus Uribe.

Forwards: Miguel Borja, Radamel Falcao, Jose Izquierdo, Luis Muriel

Fifa world cup 2018 England vs Belgium: Line-ups out; Vardy, Arnold start

England's record: L-W-W-W-W (England have lost just one match, against Belgium, but that match seemed like both the teams wanted to lose so as to get a supposedly easier opponent in Colombia in the Round of 16. Otherwise, the team has been steamrolling and for once, the chants of "It's coming home" don't seem too far-fetched.

England's 23-man squad

Goalkeepers: Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland.

Defenders: Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Kieran Trippier, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Fabian Delph, Ashley Young, Trent-Alexander Arnold.

Midfielders: Eric Dier, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli, Ruben-Loftus Cheek.

Forwards: (C), Raheem Sterling, Jamie Vardy, Danny Welbeck, Marcus Rashford.

Players to watch out for: for Colombia, for England

Google prediction: Colombia wins 24%, Draw 30%, England wins 46%

Trivia: Trent Alexander-Arnold (19 years, 264 days), is only the fourth teenager to start a World Cup match for England, after Luke Shaw, and Michael Owen

When and where to watch:

All the Round of 16 matches will be broadcast on Sony Ten 2, Sony Ten 2 HD, Sony Six and Sony Six HD in English Commentary and Sony Ten 3 and Sony 3 HD in Hindi Commentary at the time of the match (IST).

The matches will be available for live streaming on Sony Liv also. And Both Airtel and Jio would broadcast the matches for free to their respective subscribers.

First Published: Fri, June 29 2018. 17:49 IST