Quarter finals – Day 1

Excitement touches the roof as we enter the last eight. Will we see the favorites book their places in the semis ? The favorites did manage to do enough to enter the quarters. I don’t think that there were any surprises but 7 of the 8 team did struggle to beat their opponents. It was only Colombia that looked comfortable in their win. Few teams could have easily gone out but luck didn’t leave their hands. Some of the goal keepers were exceptional for the losing teams. For example – Tim Howard, Vincent Enyeama, Claudio Bravo and others but the bigger teams found their way past them eventually to their credit. Now the focus shifts to quarters and there are some really good matches to look forward to.

The European giants will be locked inside the Maracana for a bull fight. The first match of the quarters is a blockbuster. Yes, Germany are playing in their ninth Quarter finals in a row but they have failed to impress after their 4-0 victory over Portugal. Pace of the play is a lot slower than usual but understandably so, they are struggling to cope with the Brazilian conditions. Reports suggest that Hummels is fit which is a very good news and it might not be a bad idea to shift Lahm to right back for this particular match. Again, they will depend on Mueller to score goals for them and it would be wise to start Schurrle this time around. France weren’t convincing either in their win over Nigeria. They have their own set of problems but they would be pleased that Sakho is fit. There are talks that Griezmann should start ahead of Giroud, I would nod my ahead for that decision. France have looked incredibly dangerous on the counterattack all tournament, and that could be where Friday’s game is both won and lost. I thought Valbuena was superb for them in that match against Nigeria, he was their best player and France would be hoping for him to repeat that performance. Its a tough prediction to make but i would say that there would be goals in it, i’m going with 2-2 in the normal time and Germany to win it in the extra time.

All South American clash is an interesting one. The second match is nothing short of a blockbuster either. All eyes will be on two men, the current heroes of their respective nations. It will be Neymar vs Rodriguez. Two immensely talented youngsters. Who will come out victorious ? Time will tell. But there are 20 other men who will take the field too in Fortaleza. Colombia has been very solid so far in the tournament and they literally dispatched Uruguay or should i say that Colombia made Uruguay to bite the dust ( pun intended ) ? Anyways, Colombia is still an underdog going into this match but they are in red hot form. Rodriguez has scored in every match so far, Juan Cuadrado who leads the tournament with four assists and Jackson Martinez has goals too. The Brazilian defense has their work cut out. Fred hasn’t done much so far and even Oscar’s form has dipped after that first match. Neymar would be hoping to get a lot more support and Brazilian might miss Gustavo ( suspended ) in the defensive mid field role, i thought he was excellent in all the previous matches. If Cesar is needed again to save them, their defense would receive a lot of flak ahead of semis if they reach. Brazil are still the favorites but it is Colombia who is in a better form. So, don’t be surprised if Colombia sends the Brazilians packing. Having said that, the home support might come to aid and my prediction is for Brazil to win it 2-1 in the normal time.

No movies will be more thrilling than the than the final week of the World Cup. So its a no brainer. Make yourself comfortable on a couch and enjoy some breathtaking action LIVE form Brazil. Enjoy.

Cheers !!

– Nithin Lokesh

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