Future starts now for Germany after shock first-round exit in Russian Federation

Posted June 30, 2018

If Switzerland fail to turn up, which is a real possibility given their previous record at this stage, we could see Sweden reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1994. We lost three players who I wanted in the first XI in the first game.

Funnily enough, France have had a relatively scare free trip though the group phase with Didier Deschamps, a coach I've never been sure about, and I still wonder whether he knows what his best team is and how they should play.

Russian Federation and Spain played out a 3-3 friendly draw in November but Cherchesov believes the exit of Julen Lopetegui - sacked a day before the tournament got underway for failing to inform the Spanish FA that he had held talks with Real Madrid - and Hierro's subsequent appointment has prompted a tweak in their opponent's style.

Neymar has not yet captured his best form, but the five-time champions have other match-winners, not least Philippe Coutinho, and have looked strong at the back.

France may have won the group, but they did so with extremely underwhelming performances.

They must beat Messi and Argentina to go further in the competition and that's a game which is nearly impossible to call. Does Uruguay take the initiative, like they did against Saudi Arabia?

Ronaldo needs just two goals to draw level with Eusebio as his country's all-time leading World Cup goalscorer, and that missed spot-kick against Iran might provide all the motivation he needs to get on the scoresheet against Uruguay.

Lewis Hamilton wins French Grand Prix
And Hamilton was happy with the double win. "Honestly I didn't get to see the England game", Hamilton said after the race. Driving conditions were optimal at the 5.8-kilometer (3.6-mile) circuit situated just inland from the Cote d' Azur.

The Asian side needed to beat Germany by more than two goals to stand a chance of qualifying from Group F as runners up and hope Mexico beat Sweden but their already slim hopes ended when the Scandinavians raced into a 3-0 lead in the second half.

Denis Cheryshev has been one of Russia's stars at this tournament with three goals but has spent his entire club career in Spain. They had a disappointing draw with Iceland (1:1) and a thorough beating from Croatia (0:3).

Group E: Brazil (7 points), Switzerland (5), Serbia (3), Costa Rica (1).

Despite a day off on Friday, the day between the end of the group stage matches and the beginning of the high-tension knockouts, the excitement didn't die down. After losing to Mexico, Toni Kroos secured a dramatic 2-1 win over Sweden with a late free-kick, and it looked like the wind was back in their sails.

A rich seam of talent all appearing to peak at the same time makes Belgium genuine contenders, although the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard were knocked out of the European Championships by Wales two years ago.

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