Close this search box.

World Cup Last 8: Bold Predictions for Final 4

by Ron Poblete

FROM 32 teams, it is now down to the final eight teams for the most coveted prize in sports, the World Cup. Who will take the trophy on December 18? Let’s take a look at the matchups.

Argentina (Rank 3) VS Netherlands (Rank 8)

Argentina was unbeaten for 36 straight games heading into the World Cup before losing to Saudi Arabia. They won the Copa America against Brazil in 2021, and ever since they lost to the Saudis have regained their winning ways beating Mexico, Poland, and Australia in the last 16. The world’s best player Lionel Messi has been playing well in what could be his last World Cup.

courtesy Instagram Lionel Messi @leomessi

The Netherlands has not lost a game in this World Cup. They have a steady backline led by one the best center-backs in the world, Virgil Van Dijk. They’ve conceded only two goals in this tournament. One of them may be considered a fluke against the USA. Their strength is being well-organized, effective game management, and brilliant strategies under the vast credentials of Louis Van Gaal.

FEARLESS FORECAST: Argentina over the Netherlands, 2-0, with Messi, as the difference maker.

Croatia (Rank 12) VS Brazil (Rank 1)

Croatia gets no respect, perhaps because of a lack of pedigree. But time and time, they have surprised people with their performances in the last few years, culminating in their runners-up result in the previous World Cup in Russia against France. Talisman Luka Modric and Ivan Peresic are the ones to keep an eye on.

Brazil has a very deep roster. The forward line is scary with the likes of Neymar, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Raphina, Antony, Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus (Injured), and Richalison, who is a contender for the best goal of the tournament with a bicycle kick in the box. They also have some of the best keepers in the world, led by Liverpool FC star Alisson Becker.

Courtesy IG Neymar @neymarjr

FEARLESS FORECAST: Brazil is winning comfortably 3-1 against Croatia. 

England (Rank 5) VS France (Rank 4)

Perhaps the biggest game of the quarterfinals. You have an England team who was unlucky to lose on penalties against Italy for the European Championship last year. They are a hungry team. The last time they won the World Cup was in 1966. England, France, and Brazil have a very deep bench. Apart from Harry Kane, watch out for Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden.

Courtesy Marcus Rashford’s IG @marcusrashford

France is the defending Champions. They have arguably the best young player in the world right now in Kylian Mbappe. They also have a very impressive backline that goes five players deep with Varane, Kounde, Upamecano, Saliba, and Konate. They are a complete team, notwithstanding injuries to starting players like Karim Benzama and N’golo Kante.

FEARLESS FORECAST: England edges France 1-0. An epic battle till the end. 

Portugal (Rank 9) VS Morocco (Rank 22)

Morocco will not be an easy matchup for Portugal. Morocco, the only remaining underdog in this tournament, can be considered a genuine dark horse. 

Portugal, of course, has Cristiano Ronaldo. His footballing skills may be on a decline. He could return to the bench after his team won comfortably against Switzerland in the last match. But then, he might pull off one magic trick out of the hat. He needs this game to prove critics wrong; whether doing it in the starting lineup or from the bench.

Courtesy Cristiano Ronaldo IG @cristiano

Morocco is a dangerous team. Very relentless on defense and explosive on the counter. They have Hakim Ziyech, Achraf Hakimi, and Sofian Boufal, who can surprise everyone with brilliant forays on goal. Will they be able to upset the 2016 European Champions will depend entirely on their defense holding up against a Portugal team that scored six goals against Switzerland?

Courtesy Hakim Ziyech IG @hziyech

FEARLESS FORECAST: 2-2 tie, but Portugal wins on penalties against Morocco. This time Morocco won’t be as good in a shootout. 

The quarterfinals start this Friday night with Croatia VS Brazil at 11 pm (Manila Time) and Netherlands VS Argentina at 3 am Saturday (Manila Time).

Let’s go. 



We have the stories you’ll want to read.

RepublicAsia Newsletter