Calm before the Storm

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It’s been a dull two days without football action taking place! After the goals and free-flowing football of the group-stages, we had the edge-of-your-seat, extra-time and penalties drama of the Round of 16. These two days off will surely be the calm before the storm of what will be a frantic and exciting Quarter Final round!

France vs Germany
Finally the World Cup gets around to the big knock-out stage, and it has some heavyweight teams left in the competition. Italy, England and Spain may have drifted by the wayside, but Europe’s best will battle it out to the death! France have been impressive as the tournament progressed, and looked a different team when Greizmann came on for Giroud when they were struggling for a goal in the last round, but they face a tough-tackling Germny side that somehow managed to egt through on autopilot, without having to actually do that much. After such a flat match last time around, we expect the Germans to be well up for it, and at the top of their game on Friday. Germany should win 2-1.

Brazil vs Colombia
Its ostensibly a match that is all about two players, and they both play as number 10 – Rodiguez and Neymar. Neymar has been good, but still unconvincing for me – he has got some goals under his belt, and lead the team impressively when called upon, but there is just something about the way he plays that makes him seem lightwieght when compared to the likes of Ronaldo and Messi. Rodriguez, on the other hand, has consistently beaten the critics back with goal after stunning goal – he is easily the tournament’s stand-out player so far. Will home support play a key role? I don’t think it has so far, with some tepid Brazil performances, so I can’t see it making much of a difference now. Colombia will win it, though it will be close.

Argentina vs Belgium
Belgium should have won by 3 or 4 against the USA, with Tim Howard the only reason that it went to extra time in all reality. If they can ceate the same number of chances against a wily and experienced Argentina back-line they will net at least one of the chances and score. The big question is wherher one goal will be enough – Argentina will have Messi ready to put the ball on a plate for his team-mates, or taking on the goal-scoring himself. Having failed to really get going so far this World Cup, it’s make or break for the Argies – they either play up to their potential and win relatively comfortably, or they will crash and burn. I think they will raise their game, and get an early goal.

Netherlands vs Costa Rica
Costa Rica have been the suprise package of the World Cup, and have done immensely well to get here. Sadly this is where their dream dies – the Netherlands are just too strong, both tactically and technically. If it was a lunch-time kick-off then the physical attributes of Costa Rica might shine through, but with it being an evening kick-off, the Netherlands class should give them the upper hand. Netherlands will win it.

Agree? Tweet me @ftbllr