All eight teams are only two wins away from playing in the World Cup final but which ones will take the first step by winning their quarter final match up? Well I’ll delve into each match just for you guys and break down how I see each one going.
France v Germany
Amazingly enough this is the first all European tie of the knockout stages and what a doozy it is as well. Neither team is overly reliant on one sole player and both squads are packed with talent, it makes it a hard game to predict. Germany look weak defensively against pace, especially out wide where their full backs (who are actually centre backs) get out paced and found out of position way too often, although I’m not sure that France have the personnel to truly take advantage of this weakness (maybe Valbuena). There have also been reports that the German camp has been hit by illness, it is hard to say how this will affect the team’s performance but I doubt it can help. France’s weakness is in the centre of midfield where they are found to be too naïve too often, their midfield on its day can be very effective but they are inconsistent. It really is a hard game to call but I think that Germany will just squeeze through because overall they have the better squad and they have greater big tournament experience. I think that we may see the winner of the World Cup come out of this group, because both teams have what it takes.
Brazil v Colombia
Take away which team is traditionally successful, take away the fact that Colombia have never been to the quarters before and take away the fact that the World Cup is in Brazil and there is only one team winning this game and that is Colombia. Colombia have been the outstanding team of this World Cup and have the perfect team to take advantage of Brazil’s inadequacies. Colombia have pace to get in behind the Brazil defence which will play a high line and take too many risks as per usual (they aren’t great defensively despite everyone banging on about their defence being better than their attack, it is just that their attack is shit this year) and they have the clinical finishing which is required at this high level. In my mind there are only two things that could get in the way of Colombia winning this match; if Neymar plays unbelievably well (I don’t think he will he looks injured and will be taken out of the game by the Colombian defence and midfield) or more like if the occasion is too big for Colombia. Again Colombia have never been this far in a World Cup, people are starting to talk about them as serious contenders and when expectation grows so does your chance of choking. I’m not saying they will choke (I don’t think they will) but that is the only way I see them losing this game, because Brazil have been really poor so far in this tournament and there is only so far a crowd and one player can drag you before you get stuck in the sand.
Argentina v Belgium
This is a really intriguing tie, both teams were fancied but neither team has really shown up yet, so will the mediocrity continue or will one of these teams finally show up? I have been really disappointed with Argentina, I thought they’d play really good attacking football and score loads of goal. Four games later and I don’t know what has happened, I look at the team and I think that this team could compete and then I watch the team and realise they aren’t good enough. Argentina are essentially a one man team and if that one man isn’t on it then they aren’t going to go very far, they are lucky that they haven’t really played anyone as of yet. Belgium to me seem like the prefect team to beat Argentina, they are industrial and are willing to sit deep and be patient. They have the ability to take top players out of the game and they look excellent defensively, the one problem I have with Belgium is that they aren’t nearly clinical enough. Belgium are a team which is set up to beat big teams and have the quality of players to do so as well, expect Belgium to do what Switzerland did but to a higher quality and that is why I think that Belgium will beat Argentina, yes it’s a big call but Belgium match up perfectly against Argentina and Argentina have been incredibly lacklustre so far so unless all of a sudden they become a cohesive unit (doubtful) I don’t see them winning.
Holland v Costa Rica
Easily the most one sided game of the quarters; if Holland don’t win I’d be absolutely amazed. There is talk that RVP is struggling with fitness and it wouldn’t really shock me if he is left on the bench because Holland should be good enough to beat Costa Rica without him. Costa Rica will also be absolutely gassed from their titanic encounter against the Greeks which left them absolutely drained. The Dutch should win and the Dutch will win, it’s as simple as that.
I think that Colombia along with France and Germany are the most likely winners of the World Cup, and what do these teams have in common? That’s right; none of them are reliant on a sole player and are rather a complete team.
So here’s the semi-finals as I see them being:
Germany v Colombia
Belgium v Holland
So what do you think of the quarter finals and the predictions which I have made? Have I lost it and clearly have spent too much time in the sun? Or am I the second coming of Paul the Octopus? Leave a comment and share your views and whatnot.