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Pringles Preview: Brazil, France, Uruguay and Belgium battle it out for semi-finals

08:00 GMT+3 05/07/2018
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The action just gets hotter as the global showpiece reaches the quarter-final stage on Friday

The global showpiece event may be slowly reaching its climax but the excitement is set to hit fever pitch as the quarterfinals begin on Friday.

It is now time to separate the title contenders from the title pretenders as two highly anticipated games enthral audiences throughout the globe.


Uruguay v France 

In the first of the day’s action, fans will be treated to an absolute humdinger of an affair as Uruguay will look to continue their impressive form in this year’s tournament against France.

After ending their group stage campaign with three wins out of three, the South American’s showed their dogged nature as they eliminated Portugal in the last round.

But despite the win, their biggest test to date will be reserved for the last eight.

With a star-studded line-up at coach Didier Deschamps’ disposal France will be confident going into the game.

Both sides have met six times previously, but France has never beaten Uruguay, and in 2018 they are raising the stakes.

But after dumping Argentina out of the competition, France will be full of confidence that they can book their place among the tournament’s final four.

Going into the game their hopes are likely to rest on the shoulders of the talented Kylian Mbappe.

The 19-year-old is France’s top scorer with three goals and after his devastating display against Argentina, much will be expected.

Although, France may see themselves as slight favourites, Oscar Tabarez’s men will be unfazed.

With players like Luis Suarez having been a shining light by scoring two goals on their road to the last eight, Uruguay will be optimistic

But one name that will be a cause for concern is that of Uruguayan star Edinson Cavani.

The 31-year-old was arguably the best player on the field against Argentina before needing to be withdrawn with injury and his potential absence could come as a massive blow.

Cavani is reportedly a doubt for the game but fans will be crossing their fingers in hope of a miraculous recovery.  

The last time these two sides met at the international football extravaganza the game ended in a goalless draw back in 2010. This time around it is expected to be quite different.

However, against Argentina, the French defence showed signs of frailness and they will need to be wary of Uruguay who have scored 28% of their goals in the last 15 minutes of their games.

Brazil v Belgium

Meanwhile in the other big game of the day, fans will be licking their lips as two of the pre-tournament favourites do battle.  

Brazil and Belgium have been immense on their road to the quarterfinals, and games do not come tighter than this.

Names such as Neymar, Romelu Lukaku, Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne are all likely to be involved in this potential classic.

Fans though, have every right to be excited in spite of this being only the second time these two sides clash.

The last time the South American’s locked horns with Belgium was in the 2002 edition of the showcase event.

On that occasion, Brazil easily brushed aside the Red Devils. But this time around that may not be the case as Belgium are yet to draw or lose a game at this year’s event.




While Belgium’s come-from-behind victory against Japan was commendable, it did show their weaknesses at the back.

Brazil on the other end will look to capitalise on that, knowing that the free-scoring Belgians have scored 12 goals and conceded four goals in as many games. This is most notable when compared to Brazil who have scored seven but only conceded a solitary goal thus far.

Nonetheless, neutralising the attacking threat of Lukaku and company will be key for Brazil, while Belgium will be wary of Neymar’s trickery.

With some of the world football’s biggest technicians on show, an exciting free-flowing game is predicted.

But it is games like these which could come down to a moment of sheer brilliance or a mistake, making this an unmissable clash.