The 2018 FIFA World Cup knockout stage begins on Saturday with 16 teams remaining in the competition.
Four teams will kick off the action this weekend as they look to advance into the quarterfinals. The first match of the day sees Group C winners France battle Group D runners-up Argentina in Kazan. Both sides are coming off positive results in their last matches.
Ending the day will be Portugal’s date with Uruguay in Sochi. Uruguay are coming off a strong win over hosts Russia, while Portugal drew 1-1 with Iran which killed their chances of finishing as Group B winners.
Here’s a look ahead to Matchday 16 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup:
France vs. Australia – 9 a.m. (FOX, Telemundo)
The day’s action gets off with a bang as France and Argentina face off after positive performances to close out their respective group stage campaigns.
France drew 0-0 with Denmark, but knew a point was all they needed to help them clinch first place in Group C. Three goals scored from three matches is hardly anything to cheer about, but overall France knows they have to be better if they want to advance. Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann have starred in Les Bleus attack, but will be relied on more on Saturday. Defensively, France will need to try and keep Lionel Messi under wraps, with the Barcelona star coming off his first goal of the tournament.
Argentina did just enough to avoid an embarrassing exit in the group stage, but now will start fresh against France. A dramatic winning goal from Manchester United centerback Marcos Rojo sealed a 2-1 win over Nigeria on Tuesday, which helped the Argentinians finish second behind Croatia.
Uruguay vs. Portugal – 12 p.m. (FOX, Telemundo)
Plenty of attacking talent will be on display in Sochi as Portugal entertains Uruguay in the second Round of 16 matchup.
Portugal is coming off a 1-1 draw against Iran where a stoppage time equalizer killed its chances of topping Group B. Ricardo Quaresma’s first-half finish was canceled out by a late penalty kick by the Iranians. Cristiano Ronaldo was also saved from the penalty spot in the draw. CR7 has four goals in this competition, and will need help from his supporting cast if his team want to advance.
Uruguay flexed their muscles in their final group stage match, rolling past Russia 3-0. Luis Suarez netted his second goal of the tournament, while Edinson Cavani scored his first. An own goal also helped the Uruguayans to a perfect finish in Group A. Defensively, they have been solid allowing zero goals through their opening three matches. Atletico Madrid centerbacks Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez have a strong partnership and will be key to keep those going against an entertaining Portuguese side.