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…And Then There Were Eight

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So we now know the final eight teams at World Cup 22 and for all the apparent upsets we saw in the group stages there’s a largely familiar look to quarter-finals.

Arguably, Germany’s exit in the first round was the biggest shock of the tournament, but Morocco’s penalty shoot-out victory over Spain yesterday was right up there.

In doing so the Atlas Lions became just the third African nation to reach the quarter-finals of the competition, and they’ve done so by conceding just one goal so far, and that was an own goal in their match with Canada.

The rest of football’s super-powers came to the fore in the round of 16 and it’s set up a mouthwatering set of fixtures this weekend.

Brazil look the team to beat after they dismantled South Korea in the first-half on Monday night and with legend Pele gravely ill in hospital there’s perhaps an added incentive for the five-time champions to go all the way. The bookies rate them just 7/4 shots to lift the 18 karat gold trophy once more.

Next in line are defending champions France with top scorer Kylian Mbappe in sparkling form. Didier Deschamps men are 4/1 become the first country to retain their crown since Brazil in 1962.

It’s 6/1 that Lionel Messi’s last dance will end in victory. Argentina are on a collision course with Brazil in the semi-finals but first they’ll need to navigate their way past the Netherlands on Friday.

Confidence is growing that Gareth Southgate’s boys can go all the way after some impressive displays so far. The French will provide them their biggest test so far but get past that one and there could be no stopping them. The Three Lions are also rated fourth 6/1 shots ahead of the qurter-finals.

Portugal‘s stunning 6-1 victory has made the bookies sit up and take notice. They’ve cut them to 6/1, which may also be a reflection of them now facing Morocco instead of an expected match-up with Spain.

The Netherlands are a lively bet at 14/1 but they’ll need to get the better of Argentina and most likely, Brazil, just to reach the final. The North African’s of Morocco are 28/1 to pull off the biggest shock in World Cup history and lift the trophy, while Croatia are the big outsiders at 33/1.

Let us know who you think will make the final four line-up in the comments section below.

Gonçalo Ramos blasted his way in to the Top Scorer reckoning with a stunning hat-trick against Switzerland, he’s one of nine players who have scored three goals. They all trail Kylian Mbappe who has scored five and is a 4/7 shot to claim top spot come December 17th.

Richarlison (13/2), Messi (10/1), Giroud (18/1), Gakpo (20/1) and Marcus Rashford (22/1) make up the top six in the betting. The aforementioned Ramos is a 25/1 shot and if he can keep Ronaldo out of the team could still be decent each-way value.

There’s not much to get involved with today in the football world but Gabriel has previewed tonight’s FA Cup Second Round Replay between Stockport and Charlton which provides a football fix on ITV tonight.

Upcoming Match Previews & Tip

Racing Tips

Hurricane Harvey was a 7/2 winner for Rizzel on Tuesday. Rizzel has just two horses for Wednesday’s racing, with the NAP running in the opener at Hexham.

As always, let us know your best betting tips and predictions for today in the comments section below and good luck with all your bets!

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