Have Japan gone as far as they can, and will Ireland and Australia be able to upset the odds?
Rugby World Cup Quarter-final fixtures
After some stunning pool stage action at Rugby World Cup 2019, eight teams remain in with a chance of lifting the #WebbEllisCup
Here are you quarter-finalists at #RWC2019……
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 13, 2019
England vs Australia, Saturday October 19 – 9.15am CET
New Zealand vs Ireland, Saturday October 19 – 12.15pm CET
Wales vs France, Sunday October 20 – 9.15am CET
Japan vs South Africa, Sunday October 20 – 12.15pm CET
England vs Australia
England came top of Pool C after beating Tonga, the USA and Argentina before having their final match against France cancelled.
England’s injury concerns will be on Billy and Mako Vunipola, Jack Nowell and Henry Slade. All four will most likely be unavailable for selection on Sunday. England are expected to select George Ford and Owen Farrell to start alongside each other in the midfield.
Australia came second in Pool D after losing to Wales despite beating Fiji, Uruguay and Georgia.
Reece Hodge will be available once again, following a three match ban for a high tackle during their first match of the tournament against Fiji.
The biggest selection dilemma facing Michael Cheika is at fly-half. Christian Lealiifano, Bernard Foley and Matt To’omua have all started at 10 in the tournament so far. The choice is expected to be between Lealiifano and To’omua but there more experienced Foley could come into the reckoning.
Prediction: England and Australia have met on 50 occasions, with Australia winning 25 times, England winning 24 with one draw back in 1997. The Wallabies haven’t exactly impressed, but England know only too well they can play a bit when the situation demands. We predicte England will come out on top.
New Zealand vs Ireland
The All Blacks are expected to be at full-strength when they face Ireland. The only dilemma Steve Hansen will have is in the centres, with Ryan Crotty, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jack Goodhue and Sonny Bill Williams all impressing in the World Cup so far.
Ireland are expected to have a fully fit squad. Johnny Sexton and Joey Carbery both seem to be back in good health. Robbie Henshaw played for over an hour against Samoa while Rob Kearney and Rhys Ruddock will be back in contention to play.
Ireland’s Bundee Aki was handed a red card in the Samoa game so he is expected to be banned for a number of matches at a hearing on Monday. However, Ireland are equipped with a specialist to help with Aki’s case. So it will be confirmed later on.
Prediction: New Zealand and Ireland have played each other on 31 occasions with the All Blacks winning 28 of them. Ireland have one two games with one draw back in 1973. Despite their misfortune, Ireland have had luck on their side having won against New Zealand in their last three matches. We’re going to side with Ireland here.
Wales vs France
Wales have come through with the gravitas of pool winners for the first time since they were hosts in 1999.
Wins over Georgia, Australia, Fiji and this latest success over Uruguay mean Wales have done a fine job in topping Pool D and thus meeting a beatable France side and avoiding England.
France recognise that they need to do more than one thing to beat Wales in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Oita, but not wasting a good start will be key.
Wales beat France 24-19 in the Six Nations earlier this year despite the French having raced out to a 16-0 lead by halftime.
Prediction: Wales can very likely beat France. It is a knock-out clash they should win given they have beaten Les Bleus in seven of their last eight matches. Warren Gatland has his team in a fine position to make the last four.
Japan vs South Africa
Japan finish top of Pool A. Resultantly, they will face Pool B runners-up South Africa, whom they so famously beat in Brighton in 2015 – in the quarter-finals in Tokyo next Sunday.
Japan held on despite a Scotland fightback to claim their fourth consecutive win to top Pool A to complete a hugely successful pool stage and the hosts will now look to throw everything at South Africa in their quarter-final clash.
South Africa will come into the quarter-finals of the RWC as the highest scoring team of the tournament after another big win over Canada but other than the game against New Zealand in which they were defeated, the Springboks have not faced any real challenge yet.
The Springboks have injury doubts over scrum-half Herschel Jantjies as well as Cheslin Kolbe and Francois Louw which could cause big disruptions to their side ahead of this last eight contest.
Prediction: Japan will hope to continue their run at the Rugby World Cup when they face South Africa. While Japan have shown they are no pushovers, we don’t predict a repeat of their performance against Ireland. South Africa have our vote here.
*Odds are subject to change. Find all the latest Rugby World Cup odds available on Yobetit.com