Two days without any World Cup matches feels like an eternity.
For the first time since the tournament began, soccer fans have had to wait more than 48 hours for matches. Queue Friday’s mouthwatering slate of games.
The two winners of Friday’s matches will go on to play each other on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET.
Uruguay vs. France
Both squads are coming off the heels of arguably their most impressive matches of the tournament.
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Cavani came off injured in the latter stages of that match, and his status is a big question mark for Óscar Tabárez‘s side heading into the quarterfinals.
If Cavani is absent for Uruguay, it will place added pressure on Luis Suarez, to get La Celeste on the scoresheet.
Cavani spoke about Uruguay’s World Cup through a translator after the win against Portugal.
Pogba was especially effective against Argentina. He drove forward and linked play between France’s midfield and their attackers.
Uruguay’s young midfield contingency of Rodrigo Betancur and Lucas Torreira will need to hold their own, albeit as they’ve done for most of the tournament, against some of the world’s best if Uruguay hope to advance.
Brazil vs. Belgium
Belgium overcome a real scare, 3-2, against a quality Japanese side in their Round of 16 matchup. It was Belgium that found themselves down 0-2 in the 52nd minute after two surprising goals from Japan.
Defender Jan Vertonghen and substitute Marouane Fellaine both brought goals back for Belgium before fellow substitute, Nacer Chadli, capped Belgium’s win with a goal following a beautiful counterattack in the dying moments of the match.
While Belgium weren’t dominant from start to finish, the match against Japan definitely handed them a proper test before their clash with Brazil.
But Belgium will be no easy task to handle, and they represent Brazil’s toughest opponent faced thus far.
The fight for possession of the ball will be interesting to watch, as both team’s playmakers want to get on the ball and dictate play.
Both Brazilians excel at breaking up play and springing the ball forward. Belgium will need to be wary against Brazil’s counterattack– an issue they had against Japan.
A defense that has only conceded one goal, anchored by center back PSG’s Thiago Silva, will also not be easy for Belgium to crack.