July 4, 2014 Elliott

A look at the World Cup Quarters

It’s been an exciting 2 weeks hasn’t it especially since we are inching closer to breaking the 171 record goals scored at a World Cup in France 98. Other records broken include Tim Howard’s massive 16 shot on goal saves when USA took on Belgium oh and I think there’s a record for temperature too. I remember when the Netherlands were playing Mexico the heat was something like 37 degrees celsius, which makes me wonder how are these players even still alive? That is insane heat, cooling break or not it is just not right.

None the less let’s look at the quarter final match ups and where my picks will be. If you remember, my picks at the start of the tournament were Uruguay, Netherlands, Spain and Belgium…………ouch how wrong I’ve been.

France vs Germany

Germany have shown that they are fragile at the back with Philipp Lahm having played the season as a defensive midfielder, I find that he hasn’t really been challenged by World Class opposition so he’s getting away with it at the moment. Up against USA they exposed one major weakness of Germany and Lahm, Speed. The Germans at the back to not have it but their midfield is great with holding possession and excellent at taking chances. I do hope Joachim Low puts Lahm back in defense because that German team is missing out on one of the best full backs in the world by playing in him midfield.

France meanwhile have no problems with speed but have at a relatively easy route to the quarters. They dominated their group and easily disposed of Nigeria in the last 16. By the way Karim Benzema has fired in the most shots on target at the 2014 with 14 in total and he will be a handful for the slow German defense.

Brazil vs Columbia

You watched the Brazilians take on Chile didn’t you and if you are a Brazil fan you were surely praying just like everyone else in that stadium. I was not convinced at all, everything was all Neymar playing like he was possessed and the Chileans were just hanging on at one point till their key players started getting injured.

The good news is Brazil have a bit of that home luck as it has shown so far but they will have to deal with a balanced Colombian team and James Rodriguez in the centre of things. I like how he is being deployed in the hole and not out on the wings but having said that, he is just as awesome with wing play.

Argentina vs Belgium

Tough to call but my vote swings to Argentina. Both sides have not been playing well but they have somehow managed to squeeze out wins. I’m going for Argentina to win this whole thing because in all their poor showing at matches, they have produced a moment of magic for each of the games. Every goal scored by Lionel Messi in the group stages was a moment of magic and then there was Angel Di Maria scoring against the Swiss. They’ve got the luck of Champions.

Belgium need a proper plan A. And by that I mean to win a match convincingly without have to make substitutions or alter your formation or gameplay.

Netherlands vs Costa Rica

Oh this should be easy shouldn’t it? Well no because Costa Rica are living a fairy tale at the moment and that sort of believe and luck could go a long way. Netherlands meanwhile struggled against Mexico and there are more key players like Nigel De Jung out injured for the rest of the campaign. Louis Van Gaal is losing players but did you know that he has been using different formations and tactics for each of the games? I remember Dirk Kyut at left wing back against Costa Rica, how brilliant was that.

This is a man who loves 4-3-3 but has since used 5-3-2 to accommodate his players and has been effective. That is intelligence that should see them through to the semis.

lionel-messi-argentina

Well one of my original picks for Champions, Netherlands is still in it but at the rate things are going, I’m thinking Argentina will take it. That luck of champions is present and luck is something we tend to overlook when it comes to football.

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