France v Germany

And Brazil v Colombia. Two big games. While I really like the way the French have been playing, the Germans regularly raise their game and I expect them to be able to hold off the very good French attack UNLESS they play the same high offsides-trap that they featured against the USA. That’s simply not going to work when France can throw three fast strikers against it, particularly given a French midfield that actually believes in providing its attackers with through balls.

I’m expecting the big upset in the later game. Brazil has not impressed me, not even a little bit. Fred has shown nothing, Hulk is a brute who tries hard and bears absolutely no resemblance to the Romarios and Ronaldos of World Cups past, and Neymar is clearly struggling with the weight of having to carry the nation’s expectations very nearly on his own. Colombia isn’t afraid of anyone and they are playing very well as a team. I think they’ll win and they won’t even need extra time or penalties to do it.

Germany 1 France 0. Frankly, a rather boring game. Germany scored early on a set piece, France never seemed to feel much sense of urgency, and I didn’t see a single through ball attacking Germany’s high defensive line. France had a chance or two, but nothing too crucial, and neither team seemed to have much in the way of energy. Rather disappointing from the same French team that crushed a good Swiss team 5-3.

FIRST HALF: Brazil 1 Colombia 0. This is the best Brazil has looked all tournament. The goal was a bit lucky, since Thiago Silva caught the Colombian defender sleeping on the far post, but Brazil has had most of the good chances. Colombia has a 4-on-2 that is so inept they don’t even manage to get a shot off. At this point, Brazil looks capable of winning by three.