Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

England among quarterfinal betting favourites at World Cup

England among quarterfinal betting favourites at World Cup

Goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann secured a final four meeting with neighbours Belgium for France after they comfortably overcame Uruguay 2-0.

Coach Roberto Martinez changed the team's formation and starting XI and Brazil's defence, which had conceded only six goals in 25 matches under coach Tite, suddenly looked very vulnerable and was repeatedly sliced apart in the opening half hour.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has refused to give an update on striker Edinson Cavani ahead of his team's World Cup quarter final against France tomorrow.

Later on Saturday, host nation Russian Federation looks to clinch their first-ever semifinal berth when they take on Croatia as +285 underdogs.

France coach Didier Deschamps says he will not drop Olivier Giroud for his side's World Cup semi-final, despite the Chelsea striker failing to score in Russian Federation.

France proved to be the bogey team for South America as they eliminated Peru in the group stage, Argentina and then Uruguay to remain unbeaten at the World Cup against teams from the continent in 40 years.

"Now the press are saying it's the best World Cup ever".

Substitute Renato Augusto headed them back into it on 76 minutes as the tournament favourites piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser.

'We played well but it was not the flawless match.

Speaking to reporters after the game, the Real Madrid centre-back, who has been one of the best defenders at the tournament, said: "We knew that set-pieces were their strong point but this time it was ours". The 1998 champions will next face either Brazil or Belgium on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) in St Petersburg.

In England, World Cup fever is building as hopes rise that Gareth Southgate's young team can beat Sweden on Saturday and reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1990. "On other occasions he saved us with incredible stops", Godin said.

"Generally speaking I believe in being thorough so we have prepared how we are going to deal with extra-time and penalties", he said. In 2014, the striker started twice and played 165 minutes overall, scoring one and creating another.

France coach Didier Deschamps said: "We had done something big against Argentina and today we have again raised our level".

Heading into the match, Uruguay had been unbeaten in 2018 and Muslera had the best save percentage of any goalkeeper at the tournament who had played more than one match.

Written off as no-hopers before the tournament, Russian Federation are now within reach of their first World Cup semi-final since 1966.

"Olivier is important to our team, and for our style of play", Deschamps added.

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