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Friday, 4 July 2014

And then there were 8 - More World Cup Spoofery


MON 30th JUNE
France 2-0 Nigeria (Prediction 1-0)
Germany 0-0 Algeria (2-1 aet) (Prediction 2-0)
France go through after a couple of late goals and Nigeria crying foul over a couple of refereeing decisions.
Germany took even longer to break Algeria down who looked better than them in the first half with the Germans playing a very dangerous high line that had Neuer playing sweeper way too often, a tactic which could cost them against France.

TUES 1st JULY
Argentina 0-0 Switzerland (1-0 aet) (Prediction 3-1)
Belgium 0-0 USA (2-1 aet) (Prediction 1-1, USA on pens)
Messi again manages to drag Argentina along with a fine run and pass for Di Maria to grab the winner, felt sorry for Dzemaili whose double miss for the Swiss reminded me of myself out on the astro pitch, not the goal fest I expected with the ramshackle nature of both defences.
Belgium needed Lukaku to come on and use his pace and strength when the American defence, who had a particularly brilliant Tim Howard behind them, tired and couldn't handle him. The fact the US found something within them to pull it back to 2-1 with a nicely taken goal from Green and a free kick routine that nearly levelled it for them was quite remarkable and shows the positive energy of Klinsmann's managerial style is particularly suited to them.

Now we reach the stage which is usually the best of any footballing competition where it's the last time that teams have a right go at each other before getting cagey in the semis and final match.

PREDICTIONS
FRI 4th July
France vs Germany
The Battle of the European powerhouses really comes down to team selection and tactics (no shit I know!), if France put Benzema wide again could be a real waste. Germany need to put Lahm back at right back and just have Khedira as the holding midfielder, if fit, and then their attacking players can get on with what they're good at it. Also as I've mentioned the high line could really cost Germany, but in the end I've gone for 2-2 after the 90 with Germany nicking it in extra time or penalties.

Brazil vs Colombia
I really don't know how this is going to go, I have a feeling Colombia might retreat within themselves a bit because they're facing the hosts, if that's the case it could be tough for them because they look like they need to be full throttle and taking the game to the opposition, hopefully I'm wrong. Yepes at the back could be got at in these latter stages but don't think Fred is going to scare him too much. So I've gone for 1-1 at full time, Colombia on penalties.

SAT 5th July
Argentina vs Belgium
I think this could be a bit of a dud, but then again with both teams yet to spring to life in the competition wouldn't be surprised if both of them turn it on in the same game. I can see Belgium causing Argentina real problems at set pieces but can also see Messi dragging Argentina along with him again. I've gone for a cautious 0-0 at full time, Argentina to do it in extra time.

Netherlands Vs Costa Rica
I fully expect my beloved Costa Rica to falter at this stage unfortunately, that last match surely would have taken it out of them. But then again they look better setup to play against better teams, so we'll see but Robben and Van Persie should be too strong for their defence although De Jong missing could unbalance the Dutch. I predict no extra time in this one though as I've gone 2-0 Netherlands.