So here we are at the halfway point of the World Cup, and with the business end of this delicious footballing treat still to come this summer, Spurs fans will be loudly cheering for the remaining gang of Tottenham players still alive and kicking in the tournament.
There have been casualties, however, with Spurs outcast Benoît Assou-Ekotto perhaps chowing down on a dodgy batch of Cameroonian ‘Ndole’ before the Croatia game in Group A, bizarrely attacking teammate Benjamin Moukandj as his side crashed out of the World Cup.
But there are still five players gearing up for the second round, with every one of them sure to be confident of progressing to the quarter finals:
Brazil v Chile – Paulinho
To the suprise of a few, Spurs’ Paulinho started every group match for the Selecao, making a mockery of the amount of minutes he received under former boss Tim Sherwood last season at the Lane.
His Brazil side face Chile on Saturday, and the hosts will be expected to progress, despite the impressive performances of their South American rivals in Group B.
The goalscoring substitute appearance from Fernandinho in the final group match against Cameroon will put Paulinho’s place in the first XI under threat, but Scolari may not want to reshuffle his pack too much in the latter stages of the competition.
France v Nigeria – Hugo Lloris
Our man between the sticks has not been to strongly tested thus far, with Lloris keeping clean sheets against both Honduras and Ecuador in the last couple of weeks. Only Switzerland were able to find a way past him, scoring twice at the very end of the 5-2 French win.
Didier Deschamps men will be expected to see off African champions Nigeria on Monday, but they will be a handful, with Argentina feeling the full effect of the unpredictable Nigerian attack.
Lloris may well be busier than he has been so far this summer, but will be confident of securing his third clean sheet of the tournament.
Belgium v USA – Jan Vertonghen, Moussa Dembélé, Nacer Chadli
Tottenham’s largest contingent of players at the World Cup hail from Belgium, but despite their numbers, none have had a real run in Mark Wilmots’ first XI so far.
While Jan Vertonghen, Dembele and Chadli have all been the toast of the Lane at some point, they were not used consistently during the group stage, but all will looking to play some part of the game against the USA on Tuesday.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s side have been a joy to behold in South America, with their ‘never-say-die’ attitude winning them a lot of fans as the group stage progressed, and they will be a hard nut to crack for the Belgians.
Still, with a plethora of world class talent at their disposal (not to mention three eager Spurs men), Belgium should have enough to end the USA dream for another World Cup.
World Cup Predictions with JUST EAT – Win £500 in free takeaway
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Which is your pick for the first last 16 clash with Spurs representation? Brazilian Feijoada or Chilean Pastel de Choclo? What about Lloris’ encounter? French Crepe vs Nigerian Stew!
The hardest match-up must surely be Belgian Mussels and Fries vs the USA Hamburger! I’d say its probably best to order both, although one of these delicious trademarks will be out of the competition come Tuesday evening.
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