Senegal are hoping coach Aliou Cisse will clamber off his sick bed to lead the team against England.

Cisse has been ill the last two days, and failed to take training on Friday as a result.

His assistant Regis Bogaert faced the press ahead of the World Cup last-16 clash but remains confident Cisse will be on the bench at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday.

He said: "He's been sick for a couple of days now and he let us [the staff] take charge of training yesterday, with his instructions.

"We are sure that at 10pm tomorrow, he will be there."

Senegal are African champions and edged out Ecuador to secure qualification from Group A and underline their growing reputation on the world stage.

Bogaert added: "We know Senegal can beat England. We need to focus on our African identity and be positive with the experiences we are having at the moment.

"Since the last World Cup, we have matured. We can beat anybody and when we go on the pitch we need to be convinced of that.

"Our objective is to get through. We're not too excited and trying to ensure we stay as calm as possible."

Senegal's finest moment at the World Cup came 20 years ago with a 1-0 win over France in the opening game of the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea.

Asked how beating England would compare, Bogaert said: "It would be a tremendous achievement, although I am not sure how it would compare to the win in 2002.

"For the players, it would show them that we are capable of playing one of the top five sides in the world. If we can beat a team like that it sends a very strong message of the progress we have made."

Bogaert believes set-pieces could be key on Sunday and is hoping it is an area they can use to spring a major surprise.

"We have studied the different types of set plays they employ and we will try to adopt the best possible strategy," he said.

"We have identified some things and set-pieces can be decisive. We hope to take advantage of them and cause problems for our opponent."

Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz has “yet to find any weaknesses” in the France team ahead of their last-16 clash at the World Cup on Sunday.

Les Bleus are the defending champions and overwhelming favourites to advance to the quarter-finals, but Michniewicz is hoping hard work can overcome any technical deficiencies.

He said of France: "I have been looking, but I have yet to find any weaknesses. We need to pressure them otherwise they won’t make mistakes. We have analysed them and focused on their style of play.

"They have a wonderful team, a great coach and a nice mix of experienced and young players.”

Poland have been criticised for a defensive approach in Qatar but Michniewicz believes now qualification to the knockout phase has been secured, they can release the shackles.

"The teams that haven’t defended well are already at home and watching on television," he added. "That was our strategy to get through the group phase and now we want to play differently.

"But football is about winning trophies, you cannot let the opponent score easily. Those that do aren’t here any more. We have defended well and therefore we get the chance to play France."

Key to that new, bolder strategy will be getting better service to striker Robert Lewandowski.

"We have had issues offensively," admitted Michniewicz. "We have not been accurate enough in our passing, and we haven’t created enough opportunities for Robert. We need to get the ball to him nearer the penalty box."

France’s main attacking threat will come from Kylian Mbappe. And Arkadiusz Milik, who played against the Paris Saint-Germain star during his time in Ligue 1 with Marseille, is planning special measures to keep him quiet.

“We need a scooter to catch him because he is so fast," he said. "It’s difficult to play against him because he’s one of the best players in the world, we’ll need to play collectively and have co-operation in the team because no one individual is able to stop him."

Didier Deschamps warned France must not underestimate Poland when they meet in the World Cup round of 16 on Sunday.

Les Bleus have won all five last-16 matches since the stage was introduced to the tournament back in 1986.

The holders are strong favourites to knock the Eagles out at Al Thumama Stadium this weekend in what will be the underdogs' first knockout World Cup knockout game for 36 years.

France are unbeaten in their past seven meetings with Poland, but Deschamps says there can be no complacency from his side in Doha.

"It's not a team we're used to meeting," he told FFF TV. "They have experienced players. Obviously, if there is one name to stand out, it's [Robert] Lewandowski, he's one of the best strikers in the world.

"But it's not just him, it's a team that has good organisation, a good athletic presence. We have three observers here who are following them closely, we will have all the details. Don't underestimate this team."

Deschamps rung the changes for France's final Group D match on Wednesday, which they surprisingly lost 1-0 to Tunisia.

Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud, Hugo Lloris, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann were among the players who dropped to the bench for that loss.

Poland will need to find a way of containing Mbappe, the joint-leading scorer in the tournament with three goals, while Giroud is one shy of becoming his country's all-time leading goalscorer as he currently stands level with Thierry Henry on 51.

The Eagles were beaten 2-0 by Argentina in their last Group C game on Wednesday but took second place.

Poland have faced the reigning champions twice in World Cup matches, beating Brazil 1-0 in 1974 and holding Germany to a goalless draw four years later.

A quarter-final showdown with England or Senegal will be the reward for whoever comes out on top.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

France - Antoine Griezmann

Griezmann continues to deliver for France time and time again. No player has created more chances than the 11 he has produced for Les Blues in this tournament.

The Atletico Madrid forward is the only player to create at least 10 chances in both this World Cup and Russia 2018 for France. He has already surpassed his total of 10 four years ago.

Poland - Wojciech Szczesny

Goalkeeper Szczesny has played a key role for Poland in Qatar, achieving a save percentage of 90. He had kept out each of his first 16 shots on target faced in the tournament prior to Alexis Mac Allister's goal for Argentina.

Szczesny saved a Lionel Messi penalty in midweek, ensuring he has stopped a spot-kick in each of his past two World Cup games. He could be in for a busy game, given France's quality going forward.

PREDICTION

While there have been shock results aplenty in this tournament, France will not be expected to slip up when they attempt to seal a place in the last eight.

Stats Perform's AI model gives the defending champions a 74.8 per cent chance of going through, with Poland at only 8.1 per cent to produce an upset.

Christian Pulisic was named in the United States' starting XI for their World Cup round of 16 tie with the Netherlands.

Pulisic scored the USA's winner against Iran on Tuesday, securing their place in the knockout stage, but was sent to hospital for scans on an abdominal injury.

On Friday, it was confirmed Pulisic had been cleared to play a part against Louis van Gaal's team at Khalifa International Stadium, and Gregg Berhalter did not hesitate in throwing the Chelsea attacker back in from the off.

Pulisic has been directly involved in six goals in his past nine appearances for the USA, with four goals and two assists, having a hand in both of their goals so far in the World Cup. 

Josh Sargent, however, did not make the squad due to an ankle problem, with Jesus Ferreira coming in for his first appearance of the tournament.

The 21-year-old scored 18 goals in 35 MLS appearances for FC Dallas this past season.

At 25 years, 84 days, the USA's starting team is the youngest in a World Cup knockout match since Slovakia (24 years, 239 days), also against the Netherlands in 2010.

Van Gaal, meanwhile, stuck with the same team that started in the 2-0 victory over hosts Qatar last time out.

That means the in-form Cody Gakpo partners Memphis Depay in a front two – the PSV forward could become the first Netherlands player to score in each of his first four World Cup appearances, with Christian Vieri the last European player to do so in 1998. 

Tyson Fury says he is "terrified" of hanging up his boxing gloves ahead of a trilogy fight with Derek Chisora

The WBC heavyweight champion will take part in his final bout of the year against his fellow Brit at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, with a potential unification fight against Oleksandr Usyk to come.

Unbeaten Englishman Fury has stated on several occasions that he had retired, only to unsurprisingly resume his illustrious career.

The 34-year-old cannot even bear to think about retirement as he prepares to try and defend his title once again.

"I'm terrified of it," he stated. "Hard is an understatement. I can't think of the most complex word to describe giving this up. It's more addictive than anything on the planet.

"I think going one-on-one with another highly trained athlete, you've got all the crowd there, the electricity of everything.

"While I'm not doing that, I'm just mundane. But as soon as I know I've got a fight coming up, boom, my eyes glow up. I feel a feeling inside of me bubbling [like] a pot that's on the simmer, boiling away. I just cannot wait to fight.

"It's really the competition that's the addictive thing, it's not the training. I used to think it was the training, but it's not because I was training every day [and] I wasn't happy.

"So it's definitely the boxing side of it. I believe when God's ready for me to move on and get out of boxing, I'll be shown a way out. And whatever I do next will be double as big as what I'm doing now.

"I'm just motivated by staying alive and keeping happy and healthy. This is what makes me happy and healthy - boxing - so that's why we're here."

Phil Foden is "disappointed" not to have made more starts in an "up and down" World Cup for the England attacking midfielder and hopes to play a big part against Senegal.

Foden made his first start of the tournament in a 3-0 win over Wales on Tuesday that sealed the Three Lions' place in the round of 16.

Gareth Southgate is facing a tough selection for the showdown with the Africa Cup of Nations champions at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday, with Foden waiting to discover if he will keep his place in the team.

It has been a mixed World Cup for the Manchester City star, who hopes the best is yet to come

"It has been up and down," he told BBC TV. "[I am] disappointed not to start more games, but it is part of the tournament. I am a team player and when I get the opportunities I'll take them."

Foden added: "I had seen a lot of media attention towards me to start, it is hard to get away from that.

"There is a lot [of competition]. [Bukayo] Saka has done well and scored in the first game, [Marcus] Rashford has scored and did very well against Wales.

"Everyone is scoring and everyone has proved a point, so it will be a headache for Gareth to pick the team for the next game.

"[Scoring against Wales was] definitely up there for one of the best feelings in my career so far, a special moment.

"I think I have every chance to start the next match. I played well against Wales, but we will have to see what happens."

Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles will not recover from knee injuries in time to play again at the 2022 World Cup, Brazil confirmed on Saturday.

The pair had each been substituted in Friday's defeat to Cameroon, with team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirming afterwards they would have scans the following day.

Brazil have already been playing without Neymar, Danilo and Alex Sandro due to injuries, and their latest two setbacks are significant.

Reports in Brazil on Saturday had suggested Jesus would miss a month and Telles was potentially facing surgery, also representing blows to Arsenal and Sevilla.

A statement from the CBF subsequently confirmed neither would feature for the remainder of the World Cup.

"As announced by the CBF after the game against Cameroon, players Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus underwent tests this Saturday morning," the statement read.

"Accompanied by the doctor of the Brazilian team, Rodrigo Lasmar, they performed an MRI on the right knee that confirmed the injuries and the impossibility of recovery in time to participate in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

"The coordinator of the Brazilian national team, Juninho Paulista, is in contact with the sports directors of Arsenal and Sevilla to define whether Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus remain with the squad in Doha for continuity of treatment or if they return to their clubs."

While Jesus was set to play only as Richarlison's back-up in the knockout stage, Telles could have been in line for a prominent role.

Alex Sandro is the only other natural left-back in the squad and is uncertain to return in time for the last-16 match against South Korea.

Brazil are at least more optimistic on the status of versatile right-back Danilo, who was set to return to full training on Saturday.

The New York Jets will undergo a fierce test of their playoff credentials on Sunday as they face the Vikings in Minnesota, where they will be hoping Mike White can deliver another inspiring performance at the quarterback position.

At 7-4, the Jets occupy the final Wild Card spot in the AFC playoffs, but a victory over the Vikings would move them just a game behind the Buffalo Bills (9-3) in the race for the AFC East title. The 9-2 Vikings can clinch the NFC North crown if they win and the Detroit Lions lose at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Having replaced 2021 second overall pick Zach Wilson as the starter following Wilson's dismal performance in the Week 11 loss to the New England Patriots, White led an outstanding offensive performance from the Jets in their 31-10 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 12.

White threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Chicago, his second career game with 300+ passing yards and at least three TD passes (in five career appearances).

The last Jets quarterback with multiple career such games prior to White for the team was Ken O'Brien with seven (last occurrence was in 1991).

White produced that display against a Chicago defense that has seen much of its top talent traded away and ranks 29th in the NFL by yards per play allowed (5.92).

But the Vikings have been far from impressive on defense this season and are the second-worst on that side of the ball by yards per play given up (6.05), appearing to suggest this matchup is another excellent opportunity for White to build his case for being the long-term starter.

And New York's defense is well-equipped to slow down the Minnesota attack. The Jets' win over Chicago marked the team's fourth time this season holding an opponent to 10 or fewer points, tied for the most such games in the NFL (with Dallas and San Francisco).

The last time the Jets had at least that many games in a season was 2010 (five), their last campaign in which they made the playoffs.

Minnesota's offense is powered largely by the continually superb exploits of wide receiver Justin Jefferson. 

Jefferson and Adam Thielen each caught touchdown passes in the Vikings' Thanksgiving Day win over the New England Patriots. It was the ninth time each player has had a receiving TD in the same game, the most of any NFL team-mates since Jefferson debuted at the beginning of the 2020 season.

The Jets have the talent in the secondary to potentially limit the Vikings' receivers, and the matchup between Jefferson and New York's rookie cornerback Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner is an extremely intriguing one. Gardner has allowed receivers to get open on just 19.45 per cent of his matchups across man and zone coverage, the best rate of all cornerbacks, according to Stats Perform data.

Yet if the game remains close, the edge appears to be with the Vikings.

The Vikings are 8-0 in games decided by eight or fewer points this season after the 33-26 win over the Patriots on Thanksgiving. The only team in NFL history to finish a season 8-0 or better in such contests was the 2009 Indianapolis Colts (8-0).

If Minnesota improve that tally to 9-0, rookie head coach Kevin O'Connell would join Jim Caldwell and Jim Harbaugh as the only head coaches this century to earn 10 wins in 12 or fewer games to start their career as an NFL head coach.

Australia's Marnus Labuschagne is honoured to join an elite band of players to score a double and single century in a match after his efforts against West Indies.

The top-order batsman added a further knock of 104 not out to his first-innings score of 204 to help push the hosts closer to victory in the first Test.

With his efforts at Optus Stadium, Labuschagne is just the third Australian to achieve the feat, after Doug Waters in 1969 and Greg Chappell against New Zealand in 1974.

He is the eighth overall to manage it, joining an illustrious list, and the batsman acknowledged his achievements were yet to sink in.

"I've only found out about the club," Labuschagne said. "I haven’t really had time to reflect on it yet. As a player, you never know how special it is until time goes by.

"You get to those periods where you don’t make as many hundreds, and you miss out a few times. You're like geez, remember that day?

"I feel very privileged to be able to be even named with those players in that club."

West Indies duo Brian Lara and Lawrence Rowe, India's Sunil Gavaskar and England's Graham Gooch are among the others to have achieved the feat, with Sir Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara the last to have done it before Labuschagne.

Australia will look to secure victory on the final day in Perth after finishing Saturday needing seven wickets for victory, having been held off by Kraigg Brathwaite's stubborn century in response.

Babar Azam scored the seventh century of the match but England's persistence paid off as they took four wickets in the final session on day three of the first Test against Pakistan.

Imam-ul-Haq (121) and Abdullah Shafique (114) completed their hundreds in the morning session at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium before their opening stand came to an end with 225 on the board.

Captain Babar (136) got in on the act with a typically stylish innings, but Pakistan closed on 487-7 in reply to the tourists' 657 all out – trailing by 160 runs.

Debutant Will Jacks took 3-123 and Jack Leach claimed 2-158 on a flat wicket, England earning late rewards for toiling in the heat after Pakistan avoided the follow-on.

Spinning all-rounder Jacks got the breakthrough after Pakistan resumed on 181 without loss, Shafique edging a wide delivery through to wicketkeeper Ollie Pope.

Imam holed out trying to launch Leach over the rope and Pakistan were 283-3 at lunch after the left-arm tweaker trapped Azhar Ali (27) leg before.

Babar and Saud Shakeel prevented any further damage from being done in a wicketless afternoon session, the skipper serenely scoring another century he brought up by dispatching Ben Stokes through the covers for four.

Ollie Robinson struck in the first over after tea, though, debutant Shakeel nicking the seamer behind for 37, and Babar ended a fifth-wicket stand of 60 with Mohammad Rizwan by slapping Jacks to Leach at point.

Rizwan (29) became James Anderson's first victim and Naseem Shah struck a well-flighted Jacks delivery to Leach in the deep as England ended the day strongly.

Openers make history in run-fest

All four opening batters made centuries in the same match for only the second time in a Test – and this was the first time that each of the four reached three figures in the first innings.

It was also the first occasion in which there have been two double-century opening stands in a Test.

Imam made his third hundred in as many Test knocks in Rawalpindi, having scored one in both innings against Australia in March. Shafique has three Test centuries in only 14 innings.

Babar delivers another masterclass

Skipper Babar made his eighth Test hundred and a first against England with yet another masterclass.

The elegant right-hander showed a combination of sweet timing and aggression in a stylish knock that we have become so accustomed to seeing.

Babar has scored three Test hundreds and four half-centuries this year in 10 Test innings, hitting one six and 19 fours in his latest exhibition of batting of the highest order.

This is the kind of week you dream of as an NFL fan.

Week 13 is set to serve up a plethora of compelling matchups that will have big implications on how the playoff picture takes shape.

The NFC favourites the Philadelphia Eagles face a real test of their credentials as they take on the Tennessee Titans.

Last season's AFC Super Bowl representative, the Cincinnati Bengals, host the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of the AFC Championship Game they stunningly won in Kansas City, and there's a highly anticipated reunion of former colleagues at Levi's Stadium, where the San Francisco 49ers welcome the Miami Dolphins.

Not all of those aforementioned games are seen as the best by SmartRatings.

SmartRatings is an AI-based platform that provides excitement ratings for sporting events, teams and players. The excitement scale, ranging from 0-100, is powered by complex algorithms that are predicated upon six primary variables: pace, parity, novelty, momentum, context and social buzz.

The weight of each variable is dynamic and adapts as a season progresses. The excitement scale translates to the following general sub-ranges: 0-39 (Dull Game), 40-64 (OK Game), 65-84 (Good Game) and 85-100 (Great Game).

Here, Stats Perform picks out three games from the top five with the most significant playoff implications and looks at the battles that could decide them.

New Orleans Saints (4-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6), Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET

SmartRating : 60
Win Probability : Buccaneers 68.6%
Key Matchup : Marcus Davenport vs. Josh Wells

The Buccaneers suffered a massive blow when right tackle Tristan Wirfs sustained a high ankle sprain in their loss to the Cleveland Browns last week.

Wirfs is expected to be out three to four weeks, meaning he will miss a critical stretch for Tampa Bay as the Bucs seek to win an extremely underwhelming NFC South.

That stretch starts with a rivalry game against the Saints on Monday Night Football, with New Orleans still only a game back in the win column of the Bucs despite their 4-8 record.

New Orleans' defense has not been the force of years past but the return of Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport saw the Saints perform extremely well on that side of the ball in their 13-0 loss to the 49ers in Week 12.

When he has been healthy, Davenport has been extremely impressive. He has a pass-rush win rate of 49.03 per cent and a 66.67 per cent win rate on run defense. His aggregate of 48.03 per cent is the fourth-highest among edge rushers. 

Now he gets to go against Wirfs' backup in the form of Josh Wells. If Wells cannot find a way to slow him down, Tom Brady and the Bucs may struggle to move the ball on offense and give hope to a Saints attack needing life after being shutout by San Francisco.

Miami Dolphins (8-3) at San Francisco 49ers (7-4) Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

SmartRating : 62
Win Probability : 49ers 53.5%
Key Matchup : Mike McDaniel vs. DeMeco Ryans

It's arguably the NFL's most distinguished offensive play-calling professor against his star pupil as Kyle Shanahan's 49ers host Mike McDaniel's Miami Dolphins in a mouth-watering contest teeming with narratives.

McDaniel has spent much of his coaching career at the hip of Shanahan, following him to almost all of his NFL stops, including San Francisco, where he was run-game coordinator and then offensive coordinator last season before departing for Miami.

Yet McDaniel, who has turned the Dolphins' offense into one of the most explosive in the NFL and the most efficient in the league by yards per play, will not be focusing on outcoaching his former boss, but instead outwitting San Francisco's defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.

Ryans will likely become a head coach in the coming offseason, having so far overseen another dominant season from the 49er defense.

San Francisco's defense has allowed the fewest plays of 10+ yards (106) in the NFL and is also the top unit by yards per play allowed (4.69) and success rate (34.5%).

The Miami offense leads the league in big plays of at least 10 yards with 174 and has a receiver in Tyreek Hill who has an open percentage of 68.18 against man coverage, that figure trailing only Stefon Diggs (68.57) as of Week 12, and a combined open percentage across man and zone of 51.67.

The 49ers will hope to use the edge they have up front against a banged-up Miami offensive line to their advantage and boast the edge rusher with the highest aggregate win rate (52.42%) across pass rush and run defense for his position in the league in Nick Bosa.

It is a true strength-on-strength matchup, and the clash between McDaniel's varied and high-powered attack against Ryans' versatile and ferocious defense figures to be fascinating to watch.

Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-4)

SmartRating : 68
Win Probability : Chiefs 66.4%
Key Matchup : Ja'Marr Chase vs. Chiefs' pass defense

The Cincinnati passing game saw its hot streak tempered a little by the Tennessee defense in the Bengals' narrow win over the Titans last week, but a meeting with the Chiefs represents a favourable matchup for Zac Taylor's offense.

Cincinnati's offense has averaged 293.3 net passing yards per game in the NFL since Week 6, the third-most in the NFL, and has done much of that damage without top wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase.

Chase is due to return from a hip injury on Sunday, having recorded three 100-yard games in his first seven appearances of the season.

He gets the opportunity to add to that against a Kansas City defense that ranks 21st in open percentage allowed to opposing receivers.

That suggests he should have no difficulty returning to top form right off the bat in this conference title game rematch against a defense that is ninth-worst in the NFL by success rate against the pass.

Though the Bengals had joy shackling Patrick Mahomes and Co. in the second half of that championship game, it is more likely the duel between he and Joe Burrow quickly becomes a shootout.

How successful Chase is in taking advantage of a very vulnerable Chiefs secondary may dictate whether the Bengals can keep up and pull off the upset once more.

Kraigg Brathwaite's defiant stand left Australia needing seven final-day wickets to secure victory in the first Test with West Indies at Optus Stadium.

Having seen Marnus Labuschagne achieve the rare feat of a double and single century in the same match with his 104 not out, the hosts had declared on 182-2 on Saturday.

With 498 to defend, hopes of an easy cruise to the finish line proved more complicated for Pat Cummins' side, with the skipper forced off with a quad strain in the fourth innings.

Though he later returned to the field, the tourists proved to be anything but easy pickings in Perth, with Brathwaite (101 not out) leading a spirited charge in pursuit, to finish the day on 192-3.

Nathan Lyon (2-54) and Mitchell Starc (1-36) made some headway with the ball, but there is still work to do for the hosts to finish the job.

The day had appeared to belong to Labuschagne, becoming only the third Australian and eighth player overall to post a double century and a single century across the two innings of a red-ball match.

However, Brathwaite, ably supported by Tagenarine Chanderpaul (45), gave the Windies a glimmer of hope heading into an intriguing final day.

Two declarations the treat for Australia

Having curtailed their own innings twice, it is a testament to the hosts' dominance that they look absurdly sharp ahead of what will be a busy month that also sees them welcome South Africa for red-ball encounters.

For Labuschagne in particular, with his total score eclipsing his previous best of 274 set against New Zealand in 2020, it proves that his resurgence in Galle against Sri Lanka last month was no fluke, too, in what will be a major relief.

West Indies on brink of defeat

Having seen Australia rack up their second-biggest total against them in the country – behind Sydney in 1969 – it was always going to be a long stretch for the tourists to take this one.

With a full day of cricket ahead, it will take some serious effort from their middle order and tail to either play for a draw or mount a shock result.

Hugo Lloris says personal milestones will be put to one side as he attempts to help France into the World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.

Les Bleus meet Poland in a last-16 clash in Doha that will see Lloris equal Lilian Thuram's record of 142 caps for France.

It represents a landmark moment for the Tottenham goalkeeper, who made his international debut against Uruguay 14 years ago, but he was quick to train his focus on securing victory for his country at Al Thumama Stadium.

"It's quite something and I am very honoured to reach that figure and that number of caps, but it's a day before a last-16 game, so that [the record] is of course secondary," he said.

"The World Cup is the most important thing and I am 100 per cent focused on tomorrow's game. It's going to be a battle and we will all need to be 100 per cent focused.

"I will appreciate reaching that record once the tournament is over."

The main threat to Lloris' hopes of celebrating his achievement with a clean sheet is Poland striker Robert Lewandowski. The Barcelona star finally broke his World Cup duck in the group stage and appears to be growing into the tournament.

Lloris added: "Lewandowski is one of the best number nines in the world and has been for some time now. He's an important player for Poland but we are facing a team that defends well, that works hard, and then you have Lewandowski up front and he is clinical.

"Also, they have Wojciech Szczesny, who has played a magical tournament in goal.

"Poland deserve to be here. We have been trying to analyse their matches to see what type of game we will be facing. There's also a mental element that comes in at this stage so we will have to be ready."

The knockout phase could see matches decided by penalty shoot-outs and, although Lloris will do his homework, the 35-year-old concedes it may come down to luck.

"We have all the tools at our disposal to analyse penalty taking but there is always a bit of chance," he said. "You can study what has happened before and then the penalty taker does the opposite of what you're expecting.

"You can prepare but there's always an element of instinct that comes into play. If the penalty is well taken you have little chance of saving it."

It was a shoot-out that accounted for France at the European Championship last year, Les Bleus going down 5-4 to Switzerland after a pulsating 3-3 last-16 draw in Bucharest.

That was a painful afternoon for the world champions and coach Didier Deschamps was not keen to spend too long reminiscing.

"We don't talk about the past," he said. "I don't think it's worth it, especially a match that we've lost. Now we are facing another round of 16 game but it's not the same opponent.

"We try to approach each match in a similar way. The group phase games were all difficult and now we have the best 16 teams in the world, even if you might not think so on paper. The games are getting tougher and we are going to have to be at our best."

Brazil's defeat to Cameroon is "a warning signal" they must heed ahead of the World Cup knockout rounds, says Dani Alves.

The Selecao fielded a much-changed side in their final Group G match, with progression to the last 16 already secured.

But a late Vincent Aboubakar finish condemned Tite's side to a shock 1-0 loss in Lusail, to check Brazil's momentum heading forward.

With a last-16 tie against South Korea now confirmed, veteran defender Alves - who skippered his nation against Cameroon - believes it is a reminder that there is no safety net now for his side.

"It's a warning signal," he said. "There is no weak rival. Here is the lesson, we need to stay switched on throughout the game. One detail and it's over.

"We end today with the feeling that a beautiful day slipped through the hands of us players who weren't playing much."

Brazil arrived at Qatar 2022 as the pre-tournament favourites, a record enhanced after two strong opening performances against Switzerland and Serbia prior to the defeat to Cameroon.

Despite the likes of Germany, Belgium and Uruguay tumbling out of the competition, Brazil face a difficult path to the final should they get past South Korea, with Argentina and the Netherlands among their potential semi-final opponents.

Page 1 of 2017
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.