World Cup 2022 Quarter Final Preview

December 7th, 2022 Jack Grundy


After a thrilling group stage, with numerous upsets, we've reached the quarter finals but are we any closer to knowing who will be leaving Qatar with the Jules Rimet Trophy on 18th December?

We take a look at the remaining eight teams and the talking points surrounding each side heading into the final stages.


After impressive performances, most notably against Iran, Wales and Senegal, the ever present optimism amongst English fans is rapidly rising. Saturday's contest between England and France is without doubt the game of the round and amazingly will be the first time the two have met in a knockout tournament in the sport's history. It's not too surprising that many are tipping the winner of this fixture to go all the way.

Perhaps this is premature but with their major tournament performances, the emergence of Jude Bellingham along with Harry Kane starting to find the back of the net, England can't be underestimated and maybe, just maybe, Delcan Rice's spare suitcase won't be going home empty and football might actually be coming home.


The tournament favourites (with a win % probability of 27.6%). Brazil have an abundance of talent and swept aside South Korea, they welcomed back their talismanic Neymar, who is now just one goal off Pele's record (77) of all time men's top scorers for Brazil.

They have world class players scattered all across the pitch but arguably most importantly on their bench too with the likes of Fabinho, Fred and Antony all able to come on and change the course of a game.

They will be tested but could they be about to win their first World Cup in 20 years? We at Sportplan think they just might...


2018 World Cup finalists Croatia always find a way to be in the closing stages of major tournaments. They don't make it easy for themselves though, since World Cup 1998, all of Croatia's KO games at major tournaments have gone to extra-time except one - the World Cup 2018 final.

They have a world class midfield with Modric, Perisic and Kovacic. However, we feel they might rely on them just a little too much. Everyone would love to see Modric go out on a high but unfortunately we can't see them progressing past Brazil.


It's almost impossible to talk about Argentina without immediately thinking of Messi. One of the world's best ever footballer's is finding form at the right time. He has the most shot involvements so far in this World Cup (7 shots, 4 chances created) but he has historically failed to produce in the knockout stages, could this be about to change and can he establish himself as the greatest ever?

Yes, Argentina have other impressive players such as De Paul and Álvarez, but we feel they rely on Messi just a little too much. Although we wouldn't be surprised to see them beat underdogs Netherlands on Friday yet, we struggle to see them making the final.


France are the first defending champions to reach the quarter finals since Brazil 2006 and might just become the first team to win consecutive World Cups since 1962. They face their toughest challenge yet against an in-form England team. Many think this fixture will be won or lost by how well Mbappe performs who has just surpassed Pele as the all-time leader in World Cup goals before the age of 24! He has without doubt been the standout performer at this tournament.

This would of course be unfair on their other players with Giroud overtaking Thierry Henry's goal scoring record and Varane securing things at the back.

Do Sportplan think they have what it takes to go all the way? Yes but ask us on Sunday morning as we're unsure whether they'll get past England on Saturday...


A side that has gone relatively unnoticed at this years' tournament. The statisticians amongst us would question why when their recent record is so impressive. They are unbeaten in their last 19 matches in all competitions and haven't lost a World Cup match (excluding penalties) since losing the 2010 final.

They have some real quality which combines a perfect balance of youth and experience. A really tough quarter final draw against Argentina awaits them on Friday. We expect this to be a thrilling fixture and although we've predicted Argentina to make the semi-finals we really wouldn't be surprised to see Netherlands take on Brazil in the next round.


We didn't think we'd be writing about Morocco's chances of progressing to the semi-finals but we're glad we are! What a resilient performance they put in against Spain. They're just the 4th African team to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup and from what we've seen so far, will be difficult for Portugal to break down.

They have quality players such as Chelsea' Ziyech and PSG's Hakimi, these two in particular have continuously put in strong performances but they'll need to again on Saturday. Portugal might be a test too far however if they play like they did against Spain, then who knows. We will certainly be cheering them on!


Similarly to Netherlands, Portugal have gone under the radar so far at this tournament but their dominant performance against Switzerland has made people think could they go all the way? They have a good balance of youth and experience. Joao Felix, 23, beginning to justify his extortionate transfer fee whilst at the other end of the pitch, Pepe, 39, offers immense experience, as well as a threat at set pieces.

We think they'll progress to the semi-finals, and after that, anything can happen!

Sportplan's Semi-Final Predictions

England Vs Portugal

Brazil Vs Argentina


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