The arrival of the first knockout round of World Cup 2014 requires another guest contribution from Sean Lafferty. Break it down, Sean.
Now that we have moved from group play to the knockout rounds, it’s time to take stock of each
of the teams and who is going to advance to the quarterfinals and put the World Cup within
grasp. I hit on 10 of the 16 qualifiers which, with this year’s play, is a pretty respectable number.
Let’s take a look at the 8 matches coming up.
Brazil is known to take it easy in group play and come on as the competition progresses. With them playing at home, should be a huge advantage to… no one. Chile will split the stadium in half for fans, so all we are left with is the actual game itself. It’s fun to pick Chile, and if their defense plays mistake-free ball, they can pick off Brazil 2-1 or in a shootout victory.
Colombia v. Uruguay
Colombia was already my pick for this match, with or without Suarez, so it looks a miracle is needed to get Uruguay to move on. James Rodriguez is playing fantastic on the pitch for Colombia and Uruguay are apparently all flesh-eating zombies.
Netherlands v. Mexico
El Tri have been quite a surprise after barely qualifying for the tournament, but the Dutch are too
strong and too talented to not move on.
Costa Rica v. Greece
Who saw this one coming? Costa Rica should win with ease.
France v. Nigeria
Same with France here. Nigeria is a surprise in the knockout stage, but not shocking. Nigeria
has a good attacking squad, but look for France to handle this match in the first half.
Germany v. Algeria
The Germans opened up by trouncing Portugal and have looked good but not great since.
Algeria is the surprise of the tournament (more than the USMNT) but the party ends here
Argentina v. Switzerland
Back to the Alps you go. Argentina by a mile.
Belgium v. USA
You have to feel a little hopeful with Jozy coming back, thus freeing up Dempsey and Bradley
towards the top half of the pitch. But will Bradley show in the fourth game for the USA? Belgium
is a nice team, but very beatable. USA matches up nicely so don’t be shocked when they pull the
CLICK IMAGE BELOW FOR DETAILS ON JULY 1 USA/BELGIUM VIEWING PARTY AT PAPA JAKE’S.