We’re down to the final eight and there’s a spot in the semi-finals of the Qatar World Cup within grasp. Brazil and Argentina will catch eyes but the resilient Europeans won’t let the South Americans have it all their own way.
Croatia vs Brazil, 3pm, BBC
The first of the Qatar World Cup quarter-finals will see the conquerors of Japan, Croatia, take on the tournament favourites Brazil in the Education City Stadium.
Brazil produced an inspired performance against South Korea in their last-16 tie but failed to build on their 4-0 half-time lead in the second 45 minutes.
Croatia are well disciplined and have, generally, been difficult to break down. But in equal measure, they haven’t offered too much in attack either.
Brazil on the other hand have been a cocktail of free-flowing brilliance, though there’s some criticism surrounding their ruthlessness – once they’ve killed a game off can they go on and humiliate teams like Portugal did in their 6-1 win this week?
Netherlands vs Argentina, 3pm, BBC
The Dutch will pose stiff opposition to Lionel Messi’s Argentina given their impressive last-16 performance against the United States but Argentina are favourites for this match.
The Netherlands topped their group and have impressed under Louis van Gaal and will look to build on an impressive showing in Qatar.
Argentina, having started their campaign with a loss to Saudi Arabia, have kicked into life.
It’s probably fair to say they haven’t faced a huge challenge thus far in Qatar and they’ll need to produce a stellar performance to topple a resilient Dutch outfit.
Brazil are the likely prize for the winner here, but given what’s happened thus far at the World Cup, who knows what could occur.