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A look at the potential knockout round matches at the 2022 World Cup

Updated  

Oct-10 20:25 first published at 20:25 PM


The 2022 World Cup will feature 48 group stage games, with six matches played in each of the eight groups. Brazil and Argentina are outright favorites in their groups, but there will be a number of major last 16 matches due to the large number of high-quality teams. Here are some possible matchups in the first knockout round. England vs. the Netherlands With one win and four finals between them, neither England nor the Netherlands have a particularly strong World Cup record. If the Dutch finish last in Group A, alongside Qatar, Ecuador, and Senegal, they will face England in the round of 16. The Three Lions are favourites to win Group B ahead of the United States, Iran, and Wales. France vs. Argentina Argentina and France are the clear favorites in their respective groups. If one of them makes a mistake, it could lead to a rematch of their 2018 World Cup last-16 match. That game was an all-time classic, with Kylian Mbappe scoring twice in Les Bleus’ eventual 4-3 victory. Spain vs. Belgium Belgium and Spain rarely play each other in international football, with the last meeting taking place in 2016. David Silva scored twice in the international friendly, extending La Roja’s winning streak against the Belgian to five games. The last time Belgium defeated Spain was in the 1986 World Cup, when they won on penalties. Croatia vs. Germany This winter, Croatia is not to be dismissed. Luka Modric led the Balkans to the final in Russia four years ago and is still at his peak for club and country. They are, however, on a collision course with a difficult last 16 clash due to the caliber of opponents in Group E. Germany could be their first knockout stage opponent, and the two teams haven’t met since the 2008 Euros, when Darijo Srna and Ivica Olic scored in a 2-1 win in the group stage. Portugal vs. Brazil Brazil is one of the clear favorites to win the tournament in Qatar. They are heavy favourites to win Group G, which includes Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon. This could set up a clash with Cristiano Ronaldo’s ageing Portugal team, which could struggle against Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea.

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