World Cup predictions: France vs. Argentina, Uruguay vs. Portugal
7:48 PM ET
- ESPN staff
With six of the eight round-of-16 matchups now set, the ESPN FC crew assess which teams have the best chance of reaching the quarterfinals.
The round of 16 begins on Saturday and it is all about who will make it through to the quarterfinals and be in with a chance of being crowned the ESPN World Cup predictions king or queen.
The 10 pundits with the best average score after this round will go on to contest for the overall predictions crown. You can see how they stand after the group stage, and remember to join the pundits' league in Match Predictor.
We've got our top talent on hand from England, the Un ited States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Australia and Africa -- many of whom will be based out in Russia for the tournament -- to analyse each and every one of the 64 matches.
We score our experts just as we do in the Match Predictor -- 10 points for correct result, with a bonus 20 points for getting the scoreline right too.
The first game of the day is the main attraction and sees France take on Argentina. Maybe we call this one Paul Pogba vs. Lionel Messi?
France entered the tournament as one of the favourites but never did hit top gear during the group stage, carving out two narrow victories and settling for a goalless draw with Denmark. Argentina's group performance was even worse, as La Albiceleste needed a late goal from unlikely hero Marcos Rojo to book their place in the knockout rounds.
In terms of our experts picks, it's almost split down the middle. Four of our experts, including ESPN A rgentina's Nicolas Baier and France correspondent Julien Laurens, fancy Lionel Messi and Co. to turn it up a notch and upset Les Bleus. Six on the other hand side with the French, Steve Nicol calling for a 2-1 French victory while Alex Pareja and Colin Udoh opt for a more comfortable 3-1 scoreline.
One thing is for sure, this one figures to be a fascinating affair.
The round of 16's second game is another doozy with Uruguay up against Portugal, or Luis Suarez vs. Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo has lit up the World Cup thus far but against a stingy Uruguay side -- that has yet to concede a goal -- only one of our experts, Ricardo Puig, backs "Ronny" and Portugal to get the victory. Four pundits led by Gab Marcotti (1-0) and Rafa Ramos (3-1) back the South Americans while the five others believe this match will end level and be decided on penalties.
If Ronaldo delivers more of his big-game her oics and leads Portugal to a pre-shootout victory, Ricardo could be sitting pretty at the top of our table after Day 1.Source: Google News Portugal | Netizen 24 Portugal