FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 + Quarterfinals Prediction

Davin Shin, Staff Writer

It’s been two weeks since the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament started. After 48 phenomenal matches, 16 teams remain out of the original 32. To win the World Cup, a team must win four consecutive matches: the round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. Going forward, every game is win or go home, and every game is bound to be intense.

So far, this World Cup has not disappointed, as the group stages have been thrilling and full of upsets. For example, Japan pulled off two huge upsets against Spain and Germany, while South Korea was able to manage a win against the mighty Portugal. Morocco, a team not very well-known for their soccer abilities, finished first in a group with Croatia and Belgium. For the first time since 1994, no team in any of the eight groups finished with three wins. All 32 teams had at least one draw/loss. Some big teams like Germany, Belgium, Uruguay, and Mexico were even knocked out. What this means is, unfortunately for sports bettors, many brackets have been nullified due to the number of great teams that will miss out in the knockout stages.

But, that doesn’t mean the knockout stages won’t be full of intense matches; every team earned their spot in the round of 16. So, here are our predictions on which four teams will win their round of 16 and quarterfinals games, to advance to the semifinals.



Argentina, the second favorite to win the whole tournament, had a shaky start in its group stage, losing 1-2 to Saudi Arabia in the first match, snapping a 36-game unbeaten streak. But Argentina redeemed itself through two 2-0 wins over both Mexico and Poland. Qualifying first in Group C, it got matched up against the second-place finisher in Group D, who turned out to be Australia. One could say that Argentina lucked out because Denmark was its projected opponent, but instead,  it will play the less prominent Australia. Should Argentina win against Australia, they will play the winners of the USA/Netherlands match. Through Argentina’s attack featuring Lionel Messi (Captain), Angel Di María, and Julian Alvarez, they should be able to score against the Dutch (led by Virgil Van Dijk) or American defense (with Tim Ream and Walker Zimmerman). Argentina’s midfield and defensive depth should also combine well with its attack to help Argentina make it to the semifinals.

UPDATE: Argentina beat Australia 2-1 in the round of 16, and will face the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.



Brazil came into this tournament as the favorites to raise the World Cup trophy, but it has lacked in terms of goal-scoring ability in the group stages. It certainly hasn’t helped Brazil that Neymar Jr. got injured (he is cleared for the game against South Korea, though), but Brazil has tremendous squad depth, with multiple stars at every position. In the group stages, it  beat Serbia 2-0 in its opener and Switzerland 1-0. Brazil ended up losing to Cameroon 0-1 in the last game, but that was largely due to Brazilian manager Tite experimenting with lineups. Led by Neymar Jr. and Thiago Silva (Captain), with Allison as a great goalkeeper, Brazil will most likely face minimal troubles in the round of 16 and quarterfinals (where it will play the winner of Japan/Croatia). 

UPDATE: Brazil has routed South Korea 4-1 in the round of 16, and will be playing Croatia in the quarterfinals.



France is the defending champion from the 2018 World Cup that was in Russia and remains one of the most complete squads in the tournament. Although France were trailing against Australia 0-1 in its opener, it came back strong to win the game 4-1. France also required a last-minute goal by Kylian Mbappé to win against Denmark 2-1, and even lost to Tunisia 0-1. But when looking deeper into the way the French played, it seems like the players had a lot more control of the games than the score lines suggested. France will be playing Poland in the round of 16, and the winner of England/Senegal. Through the attacking prowess of Mbappé, a talented distributor in Antoine Griezmann, a solid defense led by Rafael Varane, and Hugo Lloris (Captain) as their goalie, France should not struggle much against Poland, and maybe have some difficulties against England (should England advance). But at the end of the day, I believe that France has just the right ingredients to make it through to the semifinals.

UPDATE: France beat Poland 3- and will face England in the quarterfinals. Kylian Mbappé scored two goals in the game, and now leads the tournament in most goals scored.



After a strong start beating Costa Rica 7-0, Spain tied 1-1 with Germany and then suffered an unexpected 1-2 loss to Japan. With both Spain and Germany possessing four points, Spain placed second in the group over Germany by goal differential. Despite placing second in the group, Spain remains one of the top favorites to win the 2022 World Cup. Spain will be playing Morocco in the round of 16, and in the quarterfinals, they will be playing the winners of Portugal/Switzerland (of which Portugal is the favorite to win). Portugal may be a tough opponent for Spain, but through the experience of Sergio Busquets (Captain), Dani Carvajal, and Jordi Alba, young talent in Pedri, Gavi, Ferran Torres, and Rodri, the possession-controlling playstyle should help Spain get through to the semifinals.


The group stages of this World Cup have not failed to disappoint, and a mix of experienced teams and younger teams have made it through to the round of 16. I look forward to watching the exceptional matches ahead!