#WC2018: Big guns primed for quarter-final battles

Petkovic: Let them think this half of the World Cup is weak

Swedes edge Swiss to reach World Cup quarters

"England have a great chance to make a World Cup semi-final".

"I think England can go very far in this tournament". Romelu Lukaku presents something different and Belgium's two wide players - Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens - offer more than Mexico's Hirving Lozano and Carlos Vela.

Kylian Mbappe announced himself on the global stage with a double in France's 4-3 win against Argentina in the last 16, and Griezmann showed signs he is starting to fire.

"I thought there were many, many fouls in the game and I don't think we conceded anywhere near the number of our opponents". Spain were knocked out on penalties by Russia, Cristiano Ronaldo could not drag Portugal past Uruguay and Lionel Messi and Argentina came unstuck once more on the grandest stage of them all.

"In the World Cup play-off, Italy couldn't score in 180 minutes, Germany only scored (their winner) with a free-kick at the end".

Roberto Martinez's side will have to step things up if the "Golden Generation" are to finally win a tournament.

The Three Lions have quietly gone about their business in Russian Federation so far, but with only eight teams left the role of underdog no longer fits them.

The players have spent hours honing their penalties after training - with Dier crediting backup keeper Nick Pope's incredible penalty-saving ability with getting everyone even more precise - and tried to create pressure situations to test their mettle.

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With extra time failing to yield a victor, that set up a dramatic penalty shoot-out with England only too aware that they had lost all three previous World Cup spot-kick dramas.

Sweden's strength is their organisation at the back, but England have got the players to open them up, especially out wide, and I can see them getting some joy when they come forward. They're going to fancy themselves to stymie an England side that might not have the ingenuity to break them down.

He added that he did not see consistency in Croatia's game as they "looked good for three games but played worse against Denmark".

England and Sweden both secured their place in the World Cup quarter-finals after another day of high drama and tension in Russian Federation.

In the other match in England's half of the draw, host nation Russian Federation - riding a wave of euphoria after their shock win against 2010 winners Spain - face a Croatia side inspired by Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric in Sochi on Saturday.

Belgium were on the brink of another major tournament failure when trailing 2-0 with 21 minutes to play, only for a magnificent breakway goal by Nacer Chadli in the fourth minute of injury-time to cap a stunning fightback.

The performance summed up the hit and miss nature of this Croatia side, who can dazzle in one game and drive their fans to despair in the next.

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