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World Cup 2018

FRANCE VS BELGIUM: Semi-final Preview

FRANCE VS BELGIUM: Semi-final Preview

France and Belgium thoroughly deserve their place in the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after producing magnificent displays en route to this stage, and this clash is set to go down the wire considering the quality on both sides. This is the first time Les Blues will be confronting their close door neighbors in a competitive meeting since 1986 in what will be a fiercely contested derby. The two teams have lived up to pre-tournament billing as World Cup contenders, with most neutrals slightly in favor of the Belgian’s golden generation to progress to the finals. BEST TRIO IN ATTACK As is the …

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World Cup Recap: Croatia set up Q/final date with Russia

World Cup Recap: Croatia set up Q/final date with Russia

The round of 16 fixtures on matchday 17 went to another crescendo with both games needing spot kicks to decide who qualifies for the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Spain paid for their lack of creativity in front of goal as they were punished via the spot kicks by a tactically sound Russian team. In the other all European affair between Denmark and Croatia, both sides started on a flyer by canceling each other out in the opening 10 minutes only for the game to drag on to extra-time before ending in a grueling penalty kick. RUSSIA 1 SPAIN 1 …

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France Vs Argentina: Preview, Odds and Predictions

France Vs Argentina: Preview, Odds and Predictions

Pre-tournament favourites France and Argentina are set to cancel each other out in the first game of the second round in the ongoing FIFA World Cup. Argentina managed to scrape out of the group thanks to Morcos Rojo’s late winner. On the other hand, Les Blues confidently topped their group with seven points despite some unconvincing displays. France and Argentina have faced each other 12 times in their history, with the French winning just two of those meetings.

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Lukaku likely to miss England clash

Lukaku likely to miss England clash

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku may likely miss the World Cup clash against England in Kaliningrad later today. The former Chelsea forward is still struggling to shake off an ankle injury suffered during the Group G victory over Tunisia. ‘He had a difficult knock against Tunisia and probably Thursday is one day too early, but I don’t think it is going to take any longer than that,’ Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said. ‘We had very good news on the scan. There was no further damage, but it is still uncomfortable. ‘I don’t think he will be training today, and I think …

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Germany knocked out of the World Cup

Germany knocked out of the World Cup

Defending Champions Germany crashed out of the group stages after losing 2-0 to South Korea in their last group fixture thanks to goals from Kim Young-Gwon and Son Heung-min in injury time. The knockout of the 2014 winners, completes a hat-trick of exits by defending Champions at this stage of the competition(Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014). You have to rewind to 1938 to remember the last time Germany bowed out of the tournament in the first hurdle. Die Mannschaft seemed to be on course to qualify from the group phase after recovering from the loss to Mexico with a …

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Argentina set up France meeting after leaving it late

Argentina set up France meeting after leaving it late

Argentina stepped up their game in the final group fixture against the Super Eagles of Nigeria to book a place in the round of 16 courtesy of a 2-1 win. Lionel Messi once again weaved his magic by putting the South Americans in the driving seat in the 14th minute of the game. After the break, the former African Champions leveled the game from the spot thanks to Victor Moses. The Argentines looked like they were on the way out of the competition until Man United’s defender Marcos Rojo secured the winning goal in the 88th minute of the game to …

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Nigeria to send Argentina parking- Achilles the cat

Nigeria to send Argentina parking- Achilles the cat

It seems Argentine fans may suffer another heartbreak if the recent prediction by Achilles the Cat turns out to be true. Lionel Messi and his teammates have experienced a torrid time in Russia, recording only a point in two games and firmly rooted bottom in Group D. That trend may continue in their final group fixture against the Super Eagles of Nigeria, according to the animistic being in St Petersburg. The psychic cat was presented with a choice of two bowls of food with the flags of both countries placed next to them, and Achilles preferred the West-African nation. The …

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Russian footballers cleared of doping allegations

Russian footballers cleared of doping allegations

The recent political turmoil between Russia and Britain took another twist to its tail when the British media reported cases of doping cover-ups among Russian national team soccer players. However, FIFA debunked those rumors on Sunday, saying they had not found any substantial evidence to back up those claims of doping among Russian footballers. Citing a statement it made last month, FIFA said: “insufficient evidence was found to assert an anti-doping rule violation by any footballer.” It went further to confirm that investigations opened against players named in Russia’s preliminary squad last month had been closed. Rubin Kazan defender Ruslan …

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Brilliant Lukaku sets a new World Cup record for Belgium

Brilliant Lukaku sets a new World Cup record for Belgium

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku netted twice against Tunisia in their 5-2 win to become the first Belgian to score four goals at a World Cup. Lukaku, 25, grabbed a brace in the first half against the North Africans with two simple tap-ins to take his tally to four goals and also draw level with Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Golden Boot. The former Chelsea player equally became the first player since Argentine legend Diego Maradona in 1986 to find the back of the net twice or more in consecutive World Cup games. 4 – Romelu Lukaku …

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Brazil, Nigeria earn crucial wins

Brazil, Nigeria earn crucial wins

Brazil left it late to earn a vital 2-0 win against Costa Rica in the second round of matches to avoid an upset in the group stages. Costa Rica defended valiantly in the game until former Liverpool playmaker Coutinho opened the scoring in the 84th minute of the game. Tite’s men put the game to bed when Douglas Costa’s cross found PSG forward Neymar who finished from close range to give the Brazilians their first win in the tournament. It's the late, late show in Saint Petersburg, but it is a victory for Brazil!#BRACRC pic.twitter.com/EUt8Sc1FOa — FIFA World Cup ? …

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Argentina on the brink as Croatia top group D

Argentina on the brink as Croatia top group D

Argentina suffered another blow to their hopes of qualifying from the knockout phase after a shocking 3-0 loss to Croatia that marked their biggest loss in World Cup group stages since 1958. Jorge Sampaoli’s men continued to make headlines for the wrong reasons as they failed to record a win in their opening two group matches for the first time since 1974, securing only one point in the process. The manager who has come under intense scrutiny and heavy criticism didn’t quell any speculations surrounding him citing an unusual line-up for the game. Big name players like Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo …

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Golden Boy Mbappe seals qualification for France

Golden Boy Mbappe seals qualification for France

France has booked their place in the round of 16 of the World Cup after beating Peru 1-0 thanks to a solitary strike from Kylian Mbappe. Les Blues started their first competitive match against Peru on the back of the 2-1 victory over Australia in the first group game. Didier Deschamp’s men came close to scoring twice when Griezmann was teed up by teammate Giroud but saw his effort saved by the Peruvian goalkeeper. However, they kept asking the right questions to the opposition defense and eventually got their reward in the 34th minute when the shot-stopper diverted a Giroud shot …

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Ronaldo becomes Europe’s top scorer

Ronaldo becomes Europe’s top scorer

Cristiano Ronaldo has eclipsed Ferenc Puskas record with his recent strike against group B opponents Morocco that took his tally to 85 goals more than any other player in the continent’s history. The Portuguese forward started the game on 84 goals after scoring a hat-trick in the opening group match vs. Spain. The three goals recorded in that match equaled the number of goals scored by the Hungarian legend. The 33-year-old Real Madrid forward scored in the fourth minute against Morocco to give Portugal the early lead and is now only behind Ali Daei of Iran, on 109 goals, in …

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African teams at the World Cup: their journey so far and chances

African teams at the World Cup: their journey so far and chances

With the first round of fixtures at the World Cup completely wrapped up, the Terenga Lions of Senegal are the only African side to record a win out of the five representatives. In contrast to the Pharaohs of Egypt who have completed two rounds of games in Group A and recorded no win, the Senegalese seem to be the only hope of African football pending if results turn around for the other African sides in the next round of games. EGYPT The fitness of Mohammed Salah going into the tournament was always the question considering the Egyptian squad was bank …

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Croatia will defeat Messi-dependent Argentina- Kovacic

Croatia will defeat Messi-dependent Argentina- Kovacic

Mateo Kovacic is optimistic Croatia can beat tournament favorites Argentina ahead of their second group D encounter because they are a better team than the two-time World Cup winners. The two teams heavily tipped to progress from the group stages according to pundits meet on Thursday, with the Albiceleste suffering a significant setback against Iceland in the first group game that ended in a stalemate, while Croatia cruised to a 2-0 win over Nigeria. Croatia who made their World Cup debut in France 98′ and ended up in the semi-finals, will fancy their chances against Jorge Sampaoli’s men and a …

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Maradona lambasts Jorge Sampaoli after Argentina stalemate

Maradona lambasts Jorge Sampaoli after Argentina stalemate

Jorge Sampaoli has come under intense scrutiny following their draw against Iceland. One man that was not left out in the attack was legendary figure Diego Maradona who heavily criticised the manager for his tactics. The two-time World Cup winners could only muster a point against the World Cup debutants in their first group game contrary to the bookmakers that predicted a flying start for the South American side. Man City striker Aguero fired his team to an early lead before Iceland leveled up via a goalmouth scramble thanks to Alfred Finngobosan’s strike. Jorge Sampaoli’s men upped their game in the …

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