Manchester City defender out of World Cup with left ankle injury

Manchester City defender out of World Cup with left ankle injury

Manchester City defender out of World Cup with left ankle injury

On what most people regard as the tougher side of the draw, Uruguay face France and Brazil play Belgium. Well if anyone thought that this tournament had a clear-cut victor think again.

That could have been their fate had they lost their last group game to England, who have been handsomely rewarded for finishing runners-up with - on paper - what appears to be a far-easier route to the final. We have no examples of a team who won the World Cup without a big, big massive goalkeeper.

The variables are plenty. The final match will be held on July 15 at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. Click on the gallery above to see how each team got here, plus a look at their World Cup history and a player to watch for each side.

In defence, Nico Tagliafico is likely to soldier on while also aged just 26 at the moment and could be joined by Fabricio Bustos and Emmanuel Mammana, who only lost his chance to head to Russian Federation due to a serious muscle tear. Both teams are coming off huge wins as Uruguay ousted Portugal 2-1 and France bested Argentina 4-3 to advance to the quarterfinal stage.

Mbappe and his attacking team-mates will have a much tougher time breaking down Uruguay's defence, which has conceded just one goal in the tournament. Despite the latter's high spot on FIFA's list, winning the tournament still escapes them, while the Brazilians have five wins to their name, a history that could play a part in this game.

The Japanese took their feet off the gas and allowed Belgium right back into the game.

At Euro 2016, heavily fancied Belgium was considered to be on the easier side of the draw to make the final but ended up being knocked out at the quarterfinal stage by Wales, which was in its first major competition in almost 60 years.

Tite's Corinthians side had suffered against Neymar's Santos when the forward exaggerated an injury and the tactician said afterwards that the player wasn't a good role model for kids.

Belgium are at their best when De Bruyne finds room to manoeuvre and, with Casemiro suspended, it may be down to his Manchester City team-mate Fernandinho to shackle him.

England may be more talented on paper but Sweden has a mojo rolling through this tournament that is hard to reconcile.

Uruguay on the other hand have scored also scored 7 goals at the World Cup with Edinson Cavani scoring three goals for them.

"The referees have given him little protection".

In fact, his play-acting has been measured and according to RTS Sport in France, the Brazil playmaker has spent a grand total of 14 minutes on the floor during the 2018 World Cup. However, the Blue and Yellow can not be taken lightly after keeping clean sheets in each of their three wins to date, capped by a 1-0 victory over Switzerland as +225 underdogs to earn their first quarterfinal berth since 1994. Can the fairytale story get any better?

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