Brazil vs. Colombia
This is a match that could honestly go either way. Brazil and Colombia are both very tough teams, but Brazil seems to be losing steam while Colombia appears to be as strong as ever. Granted, Uruguay sans-Suarez was not as big of a challenge to face as Chile was, but it is still worth noting that Colombia beat a team widely acknowledged to be a powerhouse whereas Brazil struggled against a team that it outclassed on paper.
Colombia and Brazil both have very complete teams, but it’s clear that the Brazilian side is tired and battered, while Colombia still has some energy left in it. Home field advantage aside, Brazil might have finally met its match. No matter what happens, expect a close game, but expect Brazil to come up short.
France vs. Germany
France and Germany are once again reigniting old rivalries, as they face each other in yet another World Cup. Make no mistake, there is no love lost between these teams, and both will be fighting tooth and nail to reach their ultimate goal. France, however, seemed tired these past few matches, while Germany is still going strong.
Ozil and Schweinsteiger seem to still be on the top of their game, while Benzema and Pogba have struggled these past couple of games against teams that they should have outclassed. France has had way too many close games for comfort here, and will likely come up short yet again against a team that they know all too well.
That all being said, expect Germany and France to maintain a close score throughout the match, since both teams have had plenty of practice against each other and will likely be able to anticipate typical plays.
Netherlands vs. Costa Rica
The successes of the Costa Rican side have made up this year’s Cinderella Story, but I am sad to say that it looks like the clock has struck midnight on this ball. The Oranje are just too strong of a team for Costa Rica to beat; the best Costa Rica can hope for is that they play an impressive enough defense to send the game to extra time.
Van Persie and Robben have continued to have success on the field, and have proven that they can outwit most defenders that come their way. Costa Rica’s offense is strong, but not as strong as the Netherland’s defense, so expect the Oranje to have possession of the ball for much of the match as Costa Rica struggles to line up a shot. I expect the final score will be a bit more lopsided than other Quarter Final matches, but don’t think Costa Rica won’t give it their all.
Argentina vs. Belgium
On paper, this match should go in Argentina’s favor, but Argentina has underperformed for the entire tournament while Belgium has been holding its own even with some key injuries.
Argentina has run its course this tournament, and the near-loss to Switzerland only proves it. Belgium, meanwhile, has demonstrated time and time again that it has a complete team, and it is ready to take on the powerhouses of soccer.
Expect Argentina to struggle for most of the match as it did in previous games, while Belgium comes out on the attack. The Red Devils’ offense should be able to get past the Argentine defense, and expect an interesting matchup on the other side of the pitch with Messi going up against a Belgian defense plagued by injury. Again, Belgium should come out on top, but not without a fight.
Matt Hamilton’s Updated Bracket