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World Cup 2018: Quarterfinals Picks, Upsets



The 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage and round of 16 is finally behind us, which means only eight nations in the world of soccer remain in Russia with one common goal: hoisting that beautiful golden trophy depicting two humans holding together a globe.

The latest  odds and betting lines have Brazil as the heavy favorite to win it all and England a large favorite to advance to the semis. Only two South American teams remain, and they’re on the same side of the bracket: Brazil and Uruguay. Those two are paired with dark horse favorites Belgium and Euro 2016 runner-up France.

Here’s a look at the bracket with eight games remaining.


So which team has the best chance to win the 2018 World Cup? And which long shots can go all the way?

As we all know, the tournament never plays out the way we see it on paper. There are always surprises. Just ask Spain. The 2010 winners were upset by host nation Russia in the round of 16.

With Spain out of the picture, that means the only former champs remaining are Brazil, France, Uruguay and England. This means we could be in for a first-time champ this year. With that said, our CBS Sports prognosticators have locked in their quarterfinal predictions below. Enjoy

2018 FIFA World Cup picks: Quarterfinals

France vs. Uruguay

Thomas Rongen’s take: Can Kylian Mbappe and company take another South American scalp against the best defense left in World Cup? It will take something special to stop Uruguay’s attack when healthy. Prediction: Uruguay 2, France 1.


Roger Gonzalez’s take: I really want to pick Uruguay. I think Uruguay is stronger, but Edinson Cavani’s status is concerning, and France’s strength in the middle could match up well here. The French go through. Prediction: France 2, Uruguay 1.

Igor Mello’s take: Kylian Mbappe ran through an archaic Argentina defense. I don’t expect the 19-year-old phenom to do the same with Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez, arguably the best center-back duo in the tournament. Prediction: Uruguay 1, France 0.

Tom Fornelli’s take: With Edinson Cavani not likely to play it’s hard to rely on Uruguay to win this match. The defense will be good enough to keep it from becoming a rout, but I don’t know if Luis Suarez can handle the offensive load on his own. Prediction: France 1, Uruguay 0.


Sean Wagner-McGough’s take: I love the way Uruguay plays and I expect it to give France fits, but France just has too much star power for me to pick against. Prediction: France 2, Uruguay 1.

Brazil vs. Belgium

Friday, July 6, 2 p.m. ET, stream on fuboTV (Try for free)

Thomas Rongen’s take: Two of the most talented attacking sides left. But Brazil, 19 clean sheets since manager Tite has taken over, will prevail. Prediction: Brazil 3, Belgium 1.


Roger Gonzalez’s take: Lots to love about this game. It’s like an All-Star team against another one. But Brazil is more disciplined, better coached and more consistent. Prediction: Brazil 2, Belgium 1.

Igor Mello’s take: Brazil’s three-match streak of clean sheets comes to an end against a bigger and physical Belgium team, but the Seleção somehow prevails in a slugfest behind a Neymar double and a Philippe Coutinho rocket. Prediction: Brazil 3, Belgium 2.

Tom Fornelli’s take: It’s a shame these two are meeting so early considering they’re two of the best teams left in the tournament. After seeing Belgium’s defense exploited against Japan last round, I have a hard time imagining Brazil doesn’t score multiple times. Prediction: Brazil 3, Belgium 1.


Sean Wagner-McGough’s take: I picked Belgium to make the final before the tournament, so I can’t go against that pick here, even if beating Brazil is going to require a perfect performance. Prediction: Belgium 2, Brazil 2 (Belgium advances in PKs).

England vs. Sweden

Saturday, July 7, 10 a.m. ET, stream on fuboTV (Try for free)

Thomas Rongen’s take: It’s a set-piece showdown. Sweden is better without Zlatan Ibrahimovic but not enough for the youthful Harry Kane and company. Prediction: England 2, Sweden 1.


Roger Gonzalez’s take: Harry Kane is the hero again, sending the Three Lions to the World Cup semifinals for the first time since 1990, which most people never saw coming. Prediction: England 2, Sweden 1.

Igor Mello’s take: Sweden scores a late equalizer on a set piece to force extra time and the Three Lions go 2 for 2 this World Cup in penalty-kick shootouts. Who would have ever imagined? Prediction: England 1, Sweden 1 (England advances in PKs).

Tom Fornelli’s take: I’ve been doubting Sweden the entire tournament. I didn’t expect it to get out of group play. I didn’t expect it to get past Switzerland. Maybe it’ll prove me wrong yet again, but I think its run finally comes to an end instead.  Prediction: England 2, Sweden 0.


Sean Wagner-McGough’s take: I’m not convinced that England is actually good, but I can’t deny that it has an optimal path to the final. England gets by barely with another Harry Kane goal. Prediction: England 1, Sweden 0.

Croatia vs. Russia

Saturday, July 7, 2 p.m. ET, stream on fuboTV (Try for free)

Thomas Rongen’s take: Home-field cooking will end. The Croatia underdog story will continue, with Luka Modric running the show. Prediction: Croatia 2, Russia 0.


Roger Gonzalez’s take: I think this is going to be tight and it can go either way. Croatia has looked good, but it may not have played a tough opponent yet outside of a bad Argentina team. Playing at home is a huge advantage, but Ivan Perisic settles this one. Prediction: Croatia 1, Russia 0.

Igor Mello’s take: Croatia is the better side here, but it fails to find a breakthrough while the host nation scores the only goal of the match on another soft penalty-kick call by the officials, which will give the conspiracy theorists another field day. Prediction: Russia 1, Croatia 0.

Tom Fornelli’s take: Russia is going to do everything it can to try to get this match to penalties like it did against Spain. The difference this time is that Croatia has somebody in the middle of the field in Luka Modric who can break the defense down, and it has Mario Mandzukic up front, who can get his head on crosses fired in from the wings. Prediction: Croatia 2, Russia 0.


Sean Wagner-McGough’s take: Russia is just way too overmatched in this one. Prediction: Croatia 3, Russia 0.

-courtesy: CBS sports

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