Half of the quarterfinals are set, with France, England, Argentina, and the Netherlands all avoiding any sort of a shock upset and booking their place in the last couple days. Two more heavyweights are in action today, including the runners-up from four years ago, Croatia, and one of the perennial favorites, Brazil.
JAPAN vs. CROATIA
Date / Time: Monday, December 5, 2022, 15.00 GMT; 10am EST
Venue: Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah, Qatar
Referee: Ismail Elfath (USA)
On TV: BBC One (UK); Fox, Telemundo (USA); elsewhere
Streaming online: BBC iPlayer (UK); FOX Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA)
Chelsea interest: Japan were one of the surprises to emerge from the group stage, sending Germany home with an early exit, but they will have to keep the shocking upsets coming if they want to get anything out of this game against Croatia. The 2018 runners-up haven’t been all that impressive, with a win and two scoreless draws in the group stage, so perhaps this indeed will be time for an upset. Mateo Kovačić has started all three games for Croatia, and has played nearly every minute as well.
BRAZIL vs. SOUTH KOREA
Date / Time: Monday, December 5, 2022, 19.00 GMT; 2pm EST
Venue: Stadium 974, Doha, Qatar
Referee: Clément Turpin (France)
On TV: ITV 1 (UK); Fox, Telemundo (USA); elsewhere
Streaming online: ITV Hub (UK); FOX Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA)
Chelsea interest: Thiago Silva, who was rested in their previous game, will lead out the team, which should include Neymar as well following his ankle injury in the first game. Brazil haven’t looked quite as good front-to-back since, despite the oodles of talent available to them — though Gabriel Jesus has been ruled out of the World Cup with a knee injury, as has Alex Telles. South Korea, like Japan, will have to hope that some tournament magic remains in the Round of 16 still.