We are down to just 16 teams at the World Cup, and here are my completely wrong predictions for it!
ROUND OF SIXTEEN
Uruguay vs. Portugal – Uruguay — Suarez vs. Ronaldo will be the big storyline, but I think Uruguay walks away with this one. Their defense has been tighter (have yet to let in a goal, vs. the four that Portugal has), and they have just had the stronger World Cup to this point
France vs. Argentina – France — I mean, it is all about Messi…but France is young and incredibly fast. From the 19-year-old Mbappe, to Pogba and Griezmann (only in their 20s) and will run past Argentina, who struggled in the first rounds
Brazil vs. Mexico – Mexico — El Tri limped into the Round of 16, after getting blown out by Sweden, but I think that was more about Sweden’s strength, then about Mexico’s weaknesses. Meanwhile, Brazil, which should’ve been flying high, haven’t been the team that they were expected to be, and I think they have an early knockout.
Belgium vs. Japan – Belgium — Belgium has looked almost flawless this World Cup, which isn’t something that can be said about most teams…while Japan isn’t going to be able to keep up
Spain vs. Russia – Spain — I picked them as my winners…but now that we’ve gotten thru the Matchdays, I may have to revisit that, but I do think that Russia’s dominance in the first two days disappeared once they faced Uruguay, and it won’t come back now.
Croatia vs. Denmark – Croatia — Denmark has been unable to get the ball in the back of the net (2 goals in 3 games), while Croatia has come out really strong, and is +6 on the tournament.
Sweden vs. Switzerland – Sweden — Sweden’s win over Mexico was not a fluke. They are a very strong team, and while Switzerland has had a great showing, I think the yellow and blue walk away with this one.
Columbia vs. England – England — This is the one tough pick in a seemingly easy side to the bracket…it all comes down to James. If he’s injured, Columbia loses. If he’s healthy, they will put up a good fight against The Three Lions.
Uruguay vs. France – France — Uruguay didn’t let in a goal in the Matchday Round, but that should change in round 1 against Portugal, and France’s speed will just overpower them
Mexico vs. Belgium – Belgium — Despite Mexico getting past Brazil, it’s going to take a lot more to get past Belgium, and they just don’t have it in them
Spain vs. Croatia – Spain — Spain got lucky by ending on this side of the bracket, giving them an easier path to push through to the Semifinals
Sweden vs. England – Sweden — England has a very complete team, but one thing they are missing this World Cup is a finishing punch in the final third. Harry Kane has had his moments, but I don’t know that they can land the uppercut against the strength of Sweden
France vs. Belgium – Belgium — This one should be the Final. Both these teams probably weren’t anyone’s favorites coming into the tournament, but they have both shown up and are keeping a very strange World Cup in order.
Spain vs. Sweden – Spain — Like I said earlier, and like I said in my initial review, Spain was my favorite coming in. But then they didn’t look fantastic…yet ended up in what should be a much easier bracket. And while Sweden may have a better team this time around, Spain will smell the final, and their experience will come out ahead.
THIRD PLACE — France vs. Sweden – France — France has so much firepower, and while Sweden does too, I think France is more complete from top to bottom
CHAMPION — Belgium vs. Spain – Belgium — Since the World Cup kicked off I’ve liked how Belgium has performed. From the Hazards’ and Romelu Lukaku to De Bruyne and Dries Mertens, this team is stacked and ready to win their first FIFA World Cup!
That left bracket is so much stronger than the right. Because of that both third and first place should come from it…but it can also work to a disadvantage as they will get beat up on their way to the finals.
It should be noted that I correctly picked Germany to win in 2014 🙂 …over Belgium.