The round of 16 is over, and that means there are just eight games left in the 2018 World Cup. Eight games in which to crown our predictions champion!
We whittled our list of contestants down to 10, with the pundits who recorded the highest average score carrying on into the quarterfinals.
But who will be the overall winner? Only five experts can go through to the semifinals; let’s see how they get on.
The first game on Friday sees Uruguay take on France, which means Luis Suarez vs. Kylian Mbappe. Most of our pundits have gone for a France win; only Gab Marcotti bucks the trend by saying Uruguay will make the semifinals. ESPN Deportes’ Alex Pareja goes for the most comprehensive victory, predicting 3-1 to Les Bleus.
Then it’s Brazil and Belgium’s turn to try to continue their World Cup adventure. Both teams are packed with attacking talent, so surely we’ll see plenty of goals? Our pundits seem to think so, with only two predicting a win to nil, and with Gab and ESPN Mexico’s Ricardo Puig tipping 2-0 to Brazil. ESPN Brasil’s Leonardo Bertozzi says 2-1 to his countrymen, and ESPN Deportes’ Mauricio Pedroza is the only pundit to go for Belgium.
Saturday is a day of all-European quarterfinal ties. We begin with England against Sweden, after Gareth Southgate’s men finally banished their World Cup penalty shootout hell against Colombia. And there’s a lot of support for them here; former England international Paul Mariner says 2-0, one of six predictions in favour of the Three Lions. Scotland’s Steve Nicol is the only one to go for Sweden, but three experts reckon we are headed for penalties.
And the round completes as host nation Russia look to continue their unexpected fairy-tale run when they meet much-fancied Croatia. Not one pundit believes Russia will win the game, with eight going for Croatia and just Mauricio predicting a draw, and thus a penalty shootout. Leonardo eyes a big 3-0 win for Luka Modric & Co.
The final 10:
ESPN FC: Gab Marcotti, Craig Burley, Steve Nicol, Stewart Robson, Paul Mariner, Ale Moreno
ESPN Deportes: Alex Pareja, Mauricio Pedroza
ESPN Brasil: Leonardo Bertozzi
ESPN Mexico: Ricardo Puig