For the better part of a month, soccer fans have started their day by turning on the World Cup games, but fans will not have that luxury today. The World Cup is on a rare off day on what happens to be the July 4th holiday in the United States. Fans will have to wait until Friday, July 6th to see the next round of World Cup games.
The tournament is down to just eight teams: Uruguay, France, Brazil, Belgium, Sweden, England, Russia and Croatia. The quarterfinal matchups take place on July 6-7, and we will be down to just four teams after this weekend as we turn to the semifinals. It has been an exciting World Cup with three matches already going into penalty kicks since the Round of 16 began. We’ve also seen upsets with Germany, Argentina and Spain all exiting the tournament sooner than many expected.
Uruguay and France kick things off on Friday. According to OddsShark, France is favored in the odds at -104, while Uruguay is an underdog with +280 odds to get a victory. Brazil takes on Belgium Friday afternoon in one of the most intriguing matchups on the slate. Brazil is a slight favorite at +110, while Belgium has +235 odds to get an upset victory.
England and Sweden are the early game on Saturday. England was able to advance thanks a narrow victory with penalty kicks over Colombia. Both Russia and Croatia also needed penalty kicks to advance in their Round of 16 games. Croatia is a +122 favorite over host Russia, who has +240 odds to advance.
England has a difficult history when it comes to penalty kicks, but was able to put to rest any talk of a curse as they advanced against Colombia. It has been a World Cup of close matches, and some believe we are witnessing a historic tournament. Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl explained how the England-Colombia finish was representative of what we have witnessed so far during the 2018 World Cup.
In the craziest World Cup of modern times, it makes perfect sense that even England would find a way to advance on penalties for once—even though Colombia had an advantage after three rounds. What a World Cup. An ill-tempered game that saw a Harry Kane penalty and another stoppage-time stunner (this time by Yerry Mina) went to a dramatic spot kick resolution that saw Kane convert his fourth penalty in four tries in Russia and Eric Dier hit his fifth-round kick for the win.
In a little over a week, a champion will be crowned in what has been an eventful month-long tournament. From a grueling group stage to advancing from the Round of 16, each of the remaining eight teams are three wins away from winning the World Cup.
Here’s a look at the remaining World Cup schedule.
World Cup TV Schedule
|Friday, July 6 @ 10 a.m.||Uruguay vs. France|
|Friday, July 6 @ 2 p.m.||Brazil vs. Belgium|
|Saturday, July 7 @ 10 a.m.||Sweden vs. England|
|Saturday, July 7 @ 2 p.m.||Russia vs. Croatia|
|Tuesday, July 10 @ 2 p.m.||Semifinals: Uruguay/Fra. vs. Bra./Bel.|
|Wednesday, July 11 @ 2 p.m.||Semifinals: Swe./Eng. vs. Rus./Cro.|
|Saturday, July 15 @ 11 a.m.||World Cup Final|
Source: Heavy Sports