The quarter finals of the 2022 World Cup are here, with the pre-tournament favourites all in contention.
There have been upsets, however, with Spain, Germany and Belgium already eliminated.
With Neymar fully fit again and having won three of their four matches in convincing fashion, Brazil are favoured over France and Argentina to lift the trophy.
Portugal and England share a 13/2 price despite both impressing in the last 16.
Brazil made light work of South Korea in the round of 16, scoring four goals before half-time to allow themselves a relaxed second period.
Tite’s side overcame an injury to Neymar to top their group, and they are pretty much back at full strength heading into the last eight.
The Canarinho haven’t reached a World Cup final since they lifted the trophy in 2002, but this is their most-balanced team since then.
South Korea’s consolation goal was just the fourth time Brazil have conceded in 2022. The attack has been potent with Neymar running the show.
A very winnable quarter-final tie with Croatia contributes to this short price, and Brazil will be favoured over Argentina or the Netherlands. They have failed to beat Argentina in the last three meetings, however, including last year’s Copa America.
England have scored 12 goals in four matches and kept three clean sheets.
It is fair to question the quality of their opponents, as they are yet to face a team which would reasonably have expected to reach the semi-finals.
That is the case for the majority of the remaining teams, however, and Gareth Southgate’s side have proven they can deliver under the most intense pressure of knockout football.
France are the Three Lions’ toughest knockout opponent of the Southgate era, but this is also the best England team of Southgate’s tenure.
Only Brazil and Argentina are conceding fewer expected goals per match. Only Argentina and Spain have averaged more possession.
England have had great performances from several attacking players, and the defence has been solid since their sloppy spell at the end of the win over Iran.
There are signs Southgate has learned from some of his mistakes at the last two major tournaments, too. England are good enough to beat any of the remaining teams in 120 minutes, and their experience gained in 2018 and 2021 stands them in good stead.
Argentina haven’t played the most scintillating football in Qatar, but that isn’t always the path to success in knockout football.
Lionel Scaloni is a pragmatist. This Argentina team is built on good organisation and solidity around Lionel Messi, who continues to produce moments of match-winning magic.
They have conceded just 0.33 expected goals per 90, allowing opponents to get off only 16 shots in four matches.
Unlike previous Argentina World Cup campaigns, Scaloni has a clearer plan for how he wants his side to play, and there are fewer players shoehorned into the XI.
Messi leading La Albiceleste to the trophy in his final attempt is the Hollywood ending, but it is not far-fetched – despite a challenging path with the Netherlands up next and Brazil likely waiting in the last four.
Portugal Stage Of Elimination: Semi-Final
Portugal have the most favourable quarter-final matchup, going up against Morocco and Saturday.
Morocco have upset the odds throughout this tournament, holding Croatia to a goalless draw, beating Belgium and frustrating Spain en route to a penalty shootout win.
Only Australia, Costa Rica and Qatar have generated fewer expected goals per 90, though, and Portugal’s attack has been strong throughout.
Dropping Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to make the Portuguese even more dangerous in possession. Their play has ingenuity and directness to create chances against Morocco in a way Spain could not.
Portugal should see off Morocco with relative ease, but they will be underdogs against England or France in the semis.
Fernando Santos’ team play more entertaining football than previous tournaments, but the downside is they are more open defensively.
France or England can take advantage of that.
Highest Scoring Team: Portugal
After their 6-1 win over Switzerland, including a remarkable hat-trick from Gonçalo Ramos, Portugal are tied with England for the most World Cup goals with 12.
As resolute as Morocco have been at the back, the 2016 European champions have a decent chance of a comfortable win in the quarter finals.
England are also on 12, but are unlikely to add many to that tally against France, and could be eliminated.
Les Bleus are on nine goals so far but it is a big ask to close a three-goal gap.
Providing Portugal get past Morocco, they will have two more matches to play whether they win or lose the semi-final.
All odds are subject to change