St Petersburg: Just eight teams remain from the 32 who started the World Cup in Russia.

Here is a look at how each side are placed ahead of the quarter-finals on Friday and Saturday.

Uruguay v France (Friday 6pm, Nizhny Novgorod)

Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani’s fitness is the big concern ahead of Friday’s meeting. The Paris St-Germain striker limped off with a calf injury after scoring twice to end Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal’s World Cup dreams in the last 16.

After cruising through the group stage in underwhelming fashion, France kicked through the gears thanks to Kylian Mbappe’s blistering pace to blow Argentina away in a 4-3 World Cup classic in the last 16.

A very different task awaits in breaking through Uruguay’s brick wall of a defence that will not allow Mbappe the same space to exploit. But as legs start to tire in the latter stages, France’s strength in depth could start to make the difference.

Brazil v Belgium (Friday 10pm, Kazan)

Along with Uruguay, Brazil share the best defensive record, having conceded just once in four games so far and are slowly starting to hit their stride at the other end of the field too as Neymar struck his second goal of the tournament in the last 16.

Belgium will be the true test of how good the Brazilian back line is in Kazan on Friday, but coach Roberto Martinez has some big decisions to make after a stunning comeback from 2-0 down in the final 21 minutes avoided a shock exit to Japan in the last 16.

Martinez must now find the right balance to harness the best from Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku without leaving Belgium exposed.

Sweden v England (Saturday 6pm, Samara)

They are not the prettiest side, but Sweden are extremely effective and happy to play the role of underdog, having seen off the Netherlands and Italy in qualifying and Germany in the group stages, but while hard to break down, they lack a potent force up front.

Freed from the curse of the penalty shoot-out after they beat Colombia from the spot, England will be favourites to reach a first World Cup semi-final since 1990.

Russia v Croatia (Saturday 10pm, Sochi)

The hosts Russia have delighted their public by surpassing all expectations to make it to the last eight thanks to a stunning penalty shoot-out elimination of 2010 winners Spain.

Russian players were on their knees in exhaustion after defending for 120 minutes in Moscow with just 26 per cent possession and they must now summon another huge physical effort, with Croatia expected to dominate the ball once more.

Arguably the outstanding performers of the group stage, luck often has not accompanied Croatia in the knockout stages after bright tournament starts, but having bounced back from the blow of Luka Modric’s missed penalty four minutes before the end of extra-time in the last 16, the time for a highly talented generation may have come.