clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The World Cup last 16 games Barcelona fans won’t want to miss

New, comments

You better believe that France-Argentina is at the top.

Nigeria v Argentina: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The World Cup is hotting up with all the group games now completed and the knockout phase set to start.

There’s no overwhelming favourite to lift the trophy but plenty of Barcelona stars left who will be hoping to be crowned world champions in Russia.

Here’s a look at the best games of the last 16:

France vs. Argentina

France v Republic of Ireland - International Friendly Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The first game of the knockout stage is an absolute cracker as France take on Lionel Messi and Argentina at the Kazan Arena on Saturday.

La Albiceleste scraped their way through the group stage but a 2-1 win over Nigeria will have boosted confidence.

France had a pretty comfortable group phase as they topped Group B although they haven’t been quite as impressive as perhaps we’ve all been expecting.

They should still be favourites to win this game although with Messi around you simply can’t write Argentina off.

We’ll also be treated to the prospect of Messi facing off against Samuel Umtiti in this match which should be fun.

Uruguay vs. Portugal

Uruguay v Russia: Group A - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Uruguay also play on Saturday which means we’ll see Luis Suarez’s men trying to end Cristiano Ronaldo’s hopes of lifting the World Cup.

Oscar Tabarez’s side ended up topping Group A after beating hosts Russia 3-0 in the final group game which was their best performance of the tournament.

Suarez has been enjoying a pretty low-key tournament by his standards, but has scored in his last two games and will be Uruguay’s main threat alongside Edinson Cavani.

Spain vs. Russia

Spain v Morocco: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Spain return to action against hosts Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday. It’s been a funny old tournament for La Roja and it’s difficult to know what to expect from them.

A 3-3 draw with Portugal was fun to watch but they toiled against an Iran team and looked destined for defeat against Morocco until a late Iago Aspas equalizer.

Fernando Hierro’s side have plenty of attacking options but have looked vulnerable in defence, although they’ll still be favourites to put the hosts out of the tournament.

Croatia vs. Denmark

Argentina v Croatia: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Ivan Rakitic’s Croatia cruised through qualifying with three wins and look like they will take some stopping at this World Cup.

There’s plenty of quality in the team with Rakitic and Luka Modric bossing midfield and Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic up top.

Denmark will look to Christian Eriksen for inspiration and he’s already lit up the World Cup with a brilliant goal against Australia.

However, Croatia look the stronger team and should make it through to the quarter-finals.

Brazil vs. Mexico

Serbia v Brazil: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Brazil take on Mexico at the Samara Arena on Monday and we’ll get to see Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho back in action.

The duo are having a good tournament and combined to open the scoring for Brazil in their win over Serbia.

While most of the focus has been on Neymar, it’s been Coutinho who has been Brazil’s most decisive player with two goals and an assists in his three games.

Mexico will need to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat to Sweden. El Tri had looked pretty good up until that point and it will be interesting to see how Hirving Lozano, who’s been linked with a move to Barcelona, gets on against the Selecao.

Colombia vs. England

Senegal v Colombia: Group H - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Colombia take on England on Tuesday after Yerry Mina secured their place in the knockout stages with a 1-0 win over Senegal.

Mina now has two goals for the tournament (that’s more than Messi, Neymar and Antoine Griezmann) and is clearly having a great time in Russia.

Next up is the challenge of England and Harry Kane and it looks a tough one to call. However, whoever wins will really fancy their chances with the draw starting to open up.