FIFA World Cup 2018 action resumes with the quarterfinals on Friday with Uruguay taking on France at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium and Brazil facing Belgium at the Kazan Arena. But away from their hopes of making the semifinals and taking one step forward in clinching the all-important trophy, disciplinary troubles will come in the way.
Three players are already missing from the quarterfinals due to a collection of yellow cards – Blaise Matuidi (France), Casemiro (Brazil) and Mikael Lustig (Sweden). All three players have picked up two bookings in the tournament and have thus been suspended from their quarterfinal appearances. Matuidi picked up a booking against Peru and then Argentina; Casemiro against Switzerland and Mexico; and Lustig against Sweden and Switzerland. The cards are wiped out at the end of the quarterfinals to not take away a player’s dream of playing in a World Cup final unless its a red card.
Other players who are a booking away from playing the semifinals – should their respective team make it – are:
France: Olivier Giroud, Benjamin Pavard, Corentin Tolisso, Paul Pogba
Uruguay: Rodrigo Bentacur
Brazil: Philippe Coutinho, Neymar, Filipe Luis
Belgium: Thomas Meunier, Jan Vertonghen, Youri Tielemans, Kevin De Bruyne, Leander Dendoncker
Sweden: Albin Ekdal, Viktor Claesson
England: Kyle Walker, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson
Russia: Aleksandr Golovin, Roman Zobnin, Yury Gazinsky, Ilya Kutepov, Fyodor Smolov
Croatia: Marcelo Brozović, Vedran Ćorluka, Tin Jedvaj, Mario Mandžukić, Marko Pjaca, Ivan Rakitić, Ante Rebić, Šime Vrsaljko
Uruguay vs France (July 6)
Brazil vs Belgium (July 6)
Sweden vs England (July 7)
Russia vs Croatia (July 7)