Brazil search to turn out to be the primary group by means of to the World Cup semi-finals on Friday, whereas Argentina might arrange a blockbuster all-South American conflict in the event that they get previous the Netherlands.
After three weeks of pulsating motion, simply eight groups are left standing because the 32-nation event heads into the ultimate rounds of the knockout competitors after a two-day break.
Five-time champions Brazil kick off the quarter-finals towards shock 2018 runners-up Croatia, with Neymar match and firing once more after an ankle damage he suffered within the opening recreation.
“I’ll be doing everything that I can to win with the Brazilian national team. That’s our mission and our dream,” mentioned Neymar.
“We’re getting ever closer, we’ve got another step to go now.”
Croatia are a much-changed group from the one which reached the ultimate 4 years in the past, however 37-year-old Luka Modric stays the participant that makes them tick.
“I agree that we did a great thing by getting to the quarter-finals but regardless of that we would like to do more,” mentioned Modric, who will come up towards his Real Madrid teammates Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Eder Militao within the match at Education City Stadium.
“We know that the greatest match is ahead of us. Brazil are always favourites. We have to be ourselves.”
Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is hoping to lastly finish his look forward to a World Cup title with Argentina, after dropping the ultimate to Germany in additional time eight years in the past.
The Copa America holders go up towards the Netherlands in Friday’s second quarter-final at Lusail Stadium, the venue for the December 18 closing.
The two nations have met 5 earlier instances on the World Cup, together with within the 1978 closing, which Argentina received 3-1 after additional time. Argentina have by no means overwhelmed the Dutch in 90 minutes.
It is a repeat of their 2014 semi-final conflict in Brazil, the place the South Americans received on penalties following a 0-0 draw after 120 minutes.
“In 2014 I was there and things ended slightly differently (to how we wanted) but I’d like to change that now,” Dutch ahead Memphis Depay mentioned at a pre-match press convention.
After Argentina’s shock loss to Saudi Arabia of their first match, Messi has dazzled in Qatar and the Dutch must nullify his impact on the sport.
“We’re not going to reveal our tactics to you (about stopping Messi). It would be pretty stupid to reveal your own tactics,” coach Louis van Gaal informed reporters.
“Messi is the most dangerous creative player, he is able to create a lot and to score goals himself. But when they lose the ball he doesn’t participate much, this gives us chances,” he mentioned.
England acquired a lift forward of Saturday’s showdown with reigning champions France as Declan Rice returned to coaching following sickness.
Raheem Sterling can also be set to rejoin the squad on Friday after spending time in England following a theft at his dwelling.
Portugal have denied reviews that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to stroll away from the group after he was benched for his or her 6-1 rout of Switzerland within the final 16.
Ronaldo later took to social media to say that Portugal have been “too united to be broken by outside forces” forward of their recreation with first-time quarter-finalists Morocco.
The all-time high scorer in males’s worldwide soccer with 118 targets, Ronaldo was dropped in favour of Goncalo Ramos towards Switzerland.
The 21-year-old Ramos justified Fernando Santos’ daring choice by scoring a hat-trick and offering an help on his full Portugal debut.
Morocco are attempting to turn out to be the primary African group to succeed in the final 4 at a World Cup.
Thousands of Morocco followers descended on the streets of Doha after the Atlas Lions knocked out Spain on penalties within the final 16.
“We succeeded in creating a family, and we feel there’s a whole country behind us,” mentioned coach Walid Regragui.
“You feel this energy, it helps to perform like this.”
He added: “I have an amazing group, they stick by what I say and do it. I don’t know how far we’ll go.”