The 2022 edition of the World Cup, for all of it’s highs and lows and legitimate questions about human rights issues, is finally heading into it’s home stretch. The initial 32 teams have been worked down to eight and with that the quarterfinals begin on Friday—and our Liverpool squad has six players left to root for to advance to semis.
Here’s a rundown of who to look for from a Liverpool point of view when it comes to who could be moving on in the tournament and who could be reuniting with the squad sooner rather than later.
Croatia vs. Brazil (Friday, December 9th @ 3PM GMT/10AM EST): Alisson and Fabinho both are still in the Brazilian squad that is expected to go all the way to the finals. Alisson, being Brazil’s number one, has started almost every match while Fabinho only featured in Brazil’s defeat to Cameroon in the group stage. This is likely to continue, with Fabinho being on the bench and Alisson in goal.
Netherlands vs. Argentina (Friday, December 9th @ 7PM GMT/2PM EST): Virgil van Dijk for the Oranje will be set up against Messi and Argentina. This is widely regarded to be Messi’s last World Cup before retirement, and so will be likely fighting tooth and nail against the Dutch. It’ll be interesting to see how van Dijk handles the Argentinians, and if this reserved Dutch side can push through.
England vs. France (Saturday, December 10th @ 7PM GMT/2PM EST): The last three Liverpool players in the tournament are set to play against each other in a narrative-heavy match (historic rivalries! teammates against each other!). Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold will appear (especially after Hendo’s goal against Senegal the other day), on the bench if they don’t start. They will face a strong French team with their teammate Ibrahima Konaté in defense, whose starting position is up in the air because honestly they can’t decide. For someone like this writer who hasn’t watched any of the World Cup so far, this is the match she’ll be looking forward to (for obvious reasons).
Out of the six, no more than four can advance to the semifinals - with the eliminated players earning a much deserved albeit short rest before returning to rejoin the club.
If international football isn’t your game, Liverpool’s men will be back in action on Sunday with a mid-season friendly match against Lyon set to kick off at 2PM GMT/9AM EST, while Liverpool Women face Leicester City at the same time in a Women’s Super League match that could see the Reds go eleven points clear of last-place Leicester and the threat of relegation with a victory.