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World Cup 2018: Lawro's predictions - final group games

June 24,2018 22:16

Some big names are in jeopardy, including holders Germany, who play South Korea in their final group game, and Lionel Messi's Argentina, who take on Nigeria - both games are live on BBC TV and BBC Radio 5 live. Lawro is predicting the outcome of all 64 ...



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England and hosts Russia are among the teams already into the last 16, but who will join them?
Some big names are in jeopardy, including holders Germany, who play South Korea in their final group game, and Lionel Messi's Argentina, who take on Nigeria - both games are live on BBC TV and BBC Radio 5 live.
Lawro is predicting the outcome of all 64 games at the 2018 Fifa World Cup - here he picks the scores in the matches that will decide who else is going through, and who is going home.
Before the group stage started, Lawro picked his two teams to go through from each group into the knockout stage. He is backing Brazil to win the World Cup, and believes England will reach the quarter-finals.
Lawro was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan in Moscow.
Group A

Games
Score
Lawro's prediction
Monday, 25 June

Saudi Arabia v Egypt
x-x
1-1
Monday, 25 June

Uruguay v Russia
x-x
1-1

Saudi Arabia v Egypt (Monday, 25 June at Volgograd Arena, Volgograd. 15:00 BST)
Both of these teams are already out, and both of them had a very disappointing World Cup.
I think Mohamed Salah's injury has completely overshadowed Egypt's time in Russia. I can understand why he gave it a go, but it would probably have been better if they had just said that he was not going to be fit, because I don't think he was.
Neither of these teams have carried a goal threat and, if you don't have that in this tournament, then you can just forget it.

Uruguay v Russia (Monday, 25 June at Samara Arena, Samara. 15:00 BST)
A lot of people wrote Russia off before the World Cup started, but they have shown home advantage is absolutely massive - and they have risen to the occasion.
I don't see the hosts making it three wins out of three, though.
This is by far their hardest game so far and although they have scored plenty of goals, I think they will get an education in what it is like trying to break down a really hardened defence like Uruguay's.
Lawro's pre-tournament picks to go through: Uruguay (winners) and Russia (runners-up)
GROUP B

Games
Score
Lawro's prediction
Monday, 25 June

Iran v Portugal
x-x
0-1
Monday, 25 June

Spain v Morocco
x-x
2-0

Iran v Portugal (Monday, 25 June at Mordovia Arena, Saransk. 19:00 BST)
Iran have done OK so far and, despite losing narrowly to Spain, they still have a chance of getting out of this group.
I don't see it happening, though, although their Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz will know all about Portugal after managing them twice.
I thought Portugal's passing was poor in their last game, a win over Morocco, but they always seem to find a way, helped by Cristiano Ronaldo of course.

Spain v Morocco (Monday, 25 June at Kaliningrad Stadium, Kalingrad. 19:00 BST)
Spain are the best team I have seen so far at this World Cup. I know they only beat Iran 1-0 but they were so dominant and they look like a class act.
Morocco already know they are going home, but they at least had a go against Portugal in their last game.
I am expecting them to do the same here but, if so, it will probably be a kind of glorious failure, because I would still back Spain to win.
Lawro's pre-tournament picks to go through: Spain (winners) and Portugal (runners-up)
GROUP C

Games
Score
Lawro's prediction
Tuesday, 26 June

Australia v Peru
x-x
1-1
Tuesday, 26 June

Denmark v France
x-x
0-2

Australia v Peru (Tuesday, 26 June at Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi. 15:00 BST)
I've seen both of Australia's games and I just worry that they might run of of steam, because the way they play is so demanding.
Their coach Bert van Marwijk took them to a training camp in Turkey for about three weeks in the run-up to the tournament, and he has obviously worked them solidly there.
So you could understand if they are tired now, and I also think they will struggle to replace Andrew Nabbout, who looks like he will be missing with a shoulder injury.
Peru are another team who are out, after two defeats, but they have gained a lot of fans with their style of play.
Australia need to win to have any chance of progressing but I actually fancy Peru to get their first point of this World Cup.

Denmark v France (Tuesday, 26 June at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. 15:00 BST)
France looked better against Peru with Olivier Giroud leading their attack than they did against Australia when they used a different formation with two holding midfield players.
You only need one of those when you have got N'Golo Kante in your team anyway.
Denmark will look to Christian Eriksen to provide their inspiration, but I think France will make it three wins out of three.
Lawro's pre-tournament picks to go through: France (winners) and Denmark (runners-up)
GROUP D

Games
Score
Lawro's prediction
Tuesday, 26 June

Iceland v Croatia
x-x
0-0
Tuesday, 26 June

Nigeria v Argentina
x-x
0-2

Iceland v Croatia (Tuesday, 26 June at Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don. 19:00 BST)
Iceland finished above Croatia in qualifying, and they need to beat them here to have a chance of joining them in the last 16.
Croatia are likely to make changes, but I just have a feeling Iceland will miss out somehow. It will not be for a lack of effort, though.

Nigeria v Argentina (Tuesday, 26 June at Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg. 19:00 BST)
I still think Argentina will make it out of Group D, despite their disastrous result against Croatia.
I am not surprised at the reports the Argentina players have had a meeting and called for manager Jorge Sampaoli to be sacked - they were all over the show tactically in that game.
So, something could be brewing there, and it might just bring the best out of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.
I think Argentina will win, but whether that will be enough for them is out of their hands.
Nigeria's fate is under their own control, and they may feel they only need a point to progress.
I am not sure that will help them here. They are at their best if they go on the attack, but they seem unwilling to do so.
Lawro's pre-tournament picks to go through: Argentina (winners) and Croatia (runners-up)
GROUP E

Games
Score
Lawro's prediction
Wednesday, 27 June

Serbia v Brazil
x-x
0-2
Wednesday, 27 June

Switzerland v Costa Rica
x-x
1-0

Serbia v Brazil (Wednesday, 27 June at Otkrytie Arena, Moscow. 19:00 BST)
Brazil left it late to make the breakthrough against Costa Rica, but they had played really well in the second half of that game - and the goals were definitely coming.
They should find it easier going forward in this game, because Serbia need to win or they are out. That is exactly the kind of scenario that Brazil want.

Switzerland v Costa Rica (Wednesday, 27 June at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod. 19:00 BST)
Switzerland have impressed me so far, with the way they kept Brazil quiet and then fought back to beat Serbia, but I am not surprised that they are doing well.
They are a team that is greater than the sum of its parts, they are extremely well-coached and they always have a real go too. They will be too strong for Costa Rica.
Lawro's pre-tournament picks to go through: Brazil (winners) and Switzerland (runners-up)
GROUP F

Games
Score
Lawro's prediction
Wednesday, 27 June

South Korea v Germany
x-x
0-2
Wednesday, 27 June

Mexico v Sweden
x-x
1-0

South Korea v Germany (Wednesday, 27 June at Kazan Arena, Kazan. 15:00 BST)
I could not believe how bad Germany were against Mexico but they showed why they are world champions with the way they rescued themselves so late with their win over Sweden.
They surely won't have any more slip-ups this time, against a South Korea side who have been beaten in both their games so far.

Mexico v Sweden (Wednesday, 27 June at Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg. 15:00 BST)
Sweden are probably still wondering how they lost to Germany - a draw would have been enough for them here if they had held on for a few seconds longer.
Now they need to beat a Mexico side who look lethal on the break. I am sure Sweden will not just go gung-ho from the start, because they are far more measured than that, but this is a difficult task for them.
Lawro's pre-tournament picks to go through: Germany (winners) and Mexico (runners-up)
GROUP G

Games
Score
Lawro's prediction
Thursday, 28 June

England v Belgium
x-x
1-0
Thursday, 28 June

Panama v Tunisia
x-x
0-1

England v Belgium (Thursday, 28 June at Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad. 19:00 BST)
I thought England would beat Panama, but they did it in some style. It was a very impressive performance.
Belgium also scored some goals as they put Tunisia away, but they still look a bit disjointed to me, especially compared to how England are playing together, and the best 11 players do not always make the best team.
I think England have got more balance to their strongest line-up, and I also think they will win - although a big factor will be how many changes both managers make.

Panama v Tunisia (Thursday, 28 June at Mordovia Arena, Saransk. 19:00 BST)
This is a dead rubber, and a final chance for both teams to get off the mark. Tunisia have offered far more than Panama going forward, but that is not exactly difficult.
Lawro's pre-tournament picks to go through: Belgium (winners) and England (runners-up)
GROUP H

Games
Score
Lawro's prediction
Thursday, 28 June

Japan v Poland
x-x
0-2
Thursday, 28 June

Senegal v Colombia
x-x
1-1

Japan v Poland (Thursday, 28 June at Volgograd Arena, Volgograd. 15:00 BST)
This group has proved the most difficult to call so far, and Japan have surprised me the most.
They only need a point to be sure of going through - but if Poland play the way they can, then they should win.

Senegal v Colombia (Thursday, 28 June at Samara Arena, Samara. 19:00 BST)
Senegal also only need a point to go through and, although Japan caused them more problems than I expected in their draw on Sunday, I think they will get it.
What I would say it that, whoever England end up playing in the last 16, I would be confident they will win.
Lawro's pre-tournament picks to go through: Colombia (winners) and Poland (runners-up)

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