Quar­ter-fi­nal place the min­i­mum re­quire­ment for emerg­ing Eng­land

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - WORLD CUP 2018 - Leon Wob­schall York­shire Post foot­ball writer

What are you ex­pect­ing from this World Cup?

Con­tro­versy sur­round­ing VAR un­for­tu­nately as the power of tech­nol­ogy again im­pinges on a sport­ing tour­na­ment. A pleas­ant sur­prise from the host na­tion, whose in­hab­i­tants will open their soul to the world and bring colour to the World Cup ta­pes­try.

Can Eng­land end 52 years of hurt?

Be­ing knocked out in the last eight has proved a bug­bear for Eng­land over the years. But a quar­ter-fi­nal fin­ish would con­sti­tute progress for an evolv­ing side this time around ... and a dis­ap­point­ment if they did not reach this stage.

Which team is most likely to be home be­fore the post­cards?

Por­tu­gal. Euro­pean cham­pi­ons no less, but may fall prey to a dan­ger­ous Moroc­can side, who con­ceded no goals in qual­i­fy­ing. Their pre-tour­na­ment form has been un­der­whelm­ing and they are overly re­liant on the fad­ing magic of Ron­aldo.

Which group game are you most ex­cited about watch­ing?

Ar­gentina v Croa­tia. The mid­dle game for both sides in their group, so this will have a fair bit rid­ing on it. With a com­pet­i­tive group con­tain­ing Ice­land and Nige­ria, a win could prove pre­cious for ei­ther side. A fas­ci­nat­ing game in prospect.

What will be the dream fi­nal? And who will win.

Ger­many against France, a re­peat of Seville 1982, with­out the Bat­tis­ton diplo­matic in­ci­dent. The Ger­mans again to pre­vail – they al­ways find a way.

CRIS­TIANO RON­ALDO: May be on first plane home with Por­tu­gal.

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