Can England go one step further? Lawro’s World Cup predictions

Can England go one step further? Lawro’s World Cup predictions

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World Cup 2018 on the BBC
Host: Russia Dates: 14 June – 15 July
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson is making a prediction for every match in Russia.

Lawro picked the winner in six of the eight last-16 ties, and correctly predicted the outcome of 22 of the 48 group games.

Before the tournament, Lawro correctly chose 14 of the 16 teams that reached the first knockout stage, including Brazil his pick to win the tournament, and England – who he thought would go out in the quarter-finals.

Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan in Moscow.

Games Score Lawro’s prediction
Friday, 6 July
Uruguay v France x-x 0-1
Brazil v Belgium x-x 2-1
Saturday, 7 July
Sweden v England x-x 0-2
Russia v Croatia x-x 0-1

Friday, 6 July

Uruguay v France (Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod, 15:00 BST)

Uruguay have struck me as being extremely difficult to beat and, whether or not it is backed up statistically, I think they have got the best defence in the competition.

They also play with two up front – usually Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez – which means they carry a big threat going forward too. If Cavani is not fit to start this game, that will be a huge blow.

France, meanwhile, have slowly got better and better since the tournament started, and then exploded into life in their win over Argentina.

I think this will be tight but I fancy Didier Deschamps’ side, who are starting to look like a really good team rather than a collection of very talented individuals.

Kylian Mbappe was just brilliant against Argentina and Paul Pogba has been outstanding as well. More of the same from those two, and France will go through.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-1

Brazil v Belgium (Kazan Arena, Kazan, 19:00 BST)

Brazil have only conceded one goal at this World Cup and have not been behind in a game.

Belgium have a similar attacking outlook, but have been a lot more open.

I don’t think that will be a good idea against Brazil, but I am not sure what else Belgium manager Roberto Martinez will do.

The way the Red Devils came from 2-0 down to beat Japan 3-2 in the last 16 was obviously a good thing, but I think the fact they went behind in the first place shows why they are not going to win the tournament.

Lawro’s prediction: 2-1

Saturday, 7 July

Sweden v England (Samara Arena, Samara, 15:00 BST)

The thing that impressed me most about England against Colombia was the way they stood up to the provocation they faced.

But Gareth Southgate’s side also did well to respond after conceding an equaliser so late, and obviously recovering from that.

The way the draw has opened up for England is a massive carrot for them, and I think they will continue their progress.

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.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-2

Russia v Croatia (Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, 19:00 BST)

Croatia really worried me in the last 16 against Denmark because they just disappeared in the second half.

I was co-commentating on that game and Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic went missing. It was just odd – he got himself into positions where it did not seem like he wanted the ball.

We have seen Croatia throw in performances like that one before in the latter stages of tournaments. They seem to stop playing the way that got them there.

They got away with it this time, but they need to step it back up again against Russia.

We know what to expect from the hosts – although their win over Spain on penalties was one of the results of the tournament, they basically played anti-football to get it.

That got them through but it is not what we want at this stage of a World Cup, and I think they have had their moment in the sun.

If I am right, then France will play Brazil in the semi-finals and England will play Croatia, which would not be too shabby a line-up.

I am still backing Brazil to win this World Cup, but the French would give them a serious test.

Lawro’s prediction: 0-1

Soccer News

via BBC Sport – Football https://ift.tt/OHg7x6

July 4, 2018 at 09:42AM

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