It is time to get serious, as only eight teams remain alive in South Africa. Look for things to get chippy on the pitch as the intensity should heat up. Here are my quick predictions.
Brazil vs. Netherlands
This is a very tough one to call as both teams are on a tear thus far. Brazil showed their brilliance on the pitch as they took care of Chile and the Netherlands gained another force as Robben returned from injury against Slovakia. Bottom line, these teams know how to score. It is all going to come down to the back line. Both defenses were questionable coming into the World Cup and I believe they still are. The Netherlands hasn’t been tested all tournament and I am not sold on their goalkeeper. Brazil on the other hand held its ground against Portugal, after they tallied seven goals against North Korea. I’m not trying to say Brazil’s defense is the best, but they do have a world class defender in Maicon and goal keeper, Julio Cesar.
I am going with Brazil as I have picked them to win the World Cup. Look for my boy, Fabiano, to continue the scoring as Brazil wins 1-0. Either way, this game is going to be something special.
Uruguay vs Ghana
There is so much at stake for both countries making this match up interesting. Uruguay hasn’t made the semi’s since 1930 making this their biggest match in four decades. Surprisingly, Uruguay was only conceded one goal this far. During their qualifying, I can’t even remember the last time they had a shut out. With a stingy defense and world class strikers in Forlan and Suarez, Uruguay look to be in the drivers seat. As for Ghana, they have a chance to be the first African nation to make the final four of the tournament. They are an well organized team who makes the best of their chances. Just as the Americans. The whole continent of Africa will be rallying around them making Ghana a very dangerous team. Look for Ghana to feed of the crowd’s electric and emotion. With these factors in mind, anything can happen.
Diego Forlan will not disappoint as Uruguay will make its first appearance in the semi’s since 1970. 2-0 Final.
Argentina vs. Germany
This is my most intriguing match up of the quarter finals. Both teams have been very impressive this far. The way these two teams possess and score the ball is superb. I am very interested to see how Germany plans to contain Argentina’s three headed attack. If the Germans sit back on defense like every other team has down thus far against the Argentines then it’s going to be one long day. Argentina will be looking for revenge as the Germans sent them home packing in penalties at the 2006 World Cup. The first goal is going to be crucial as I just don’t see Argentina getting denied. Look for Messi to be one step closer from overcasting Maradona’s shadow. 2-1 Final.
Spain vs. Paraguay
Spain all the way here. Paraguay is lucky to even be here. Paraguay has played with a lot of heart, but that can only get you so far. Paraguay’s defense have been stellar, but you need to score goals to win games. I don’t expect them to hold Spain scoreless after 90 minutes, especially with the way David Villa’s been playing. I expect Spain to be on the attack all night long as Paraguay’s offense seems to have disappeared as of late. They are yet to score a goal in 210 minutes. Look for Fernando Torres to finally get on the score sheet. 2-0 Final.