Thursday, July 3, 2014

WC 2014: 4th July

France v/s Germany. If there is a team that the French nation have traumatic recollections of in previous World Cups, it's Germany. At the height of their powerful teams led by Platini and Giresse, they faltered at the semi-final stages of World Cups 82 and 86 against the Germans. Needless to say that the French will use these past missteps as motivation to finally get one over their nemesis. No matter how well-fancied Didier Deschamps' team are by many pundits however, I don't think that will happen. I still rate France to be an inferior team to that of Germany; in fact, I think that the Germans are the best European team in the tournament. Skeptics will point to the fact that they were held by Ghana and Algeria and that they only prevailed by the minimum score against the USA. I certainly thought that they were shell-shocked by Ghana but showed that they had the resourcefulness to get back in the score and in the game. I also thought that they were in total control of the matches against the USA and Algeria, with both of these teams resorting to quick counter-attacks to try to get something out of those games. The Germans carved enough chances in those matches to win by a comfortable margin if their forwards were not profligate in front of goal.

In assessing France's positive results so far, it is worth noting that they have emerged from a relatively easy group with the likes of Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras providing relatively easy fodder. I mentioned before that the Swiss' FIFA ranking of 6th was superfluous and more of a joke. France's win against Nigeria was laborious to say the least as it was a keeper error late in the game that broke the deadlock. It won't be as easy against the Germans.

Got to go full board with Germany in this one. The French might keep it close but in the end, their lack of quality will tell against their powerful opponents.

Brazil v/s Columbia. Columbia have been the team of the tournament so far having won their 4 games and there is a sense of genuine optimism among themselves and football pundits that they can topple mighty Brazil on their own turf. And who'd thought that they would be in this position without superstar striker Radamel Falcao? They have over-achieved already and have a new-born star in James, but I think their run will end against the hosts. The Brazilians are being criticized from every corner and it's true that they owe it to some mighty luck to have gone past Chile in the previous round. I am especially thinking of the Chilean attack in the dying minutes which resulted in Julio Cesar's post resonating throughout Brazil from Pinilla's thunderbolt. Had that shot gone through, the fiesta would have been over in Brazil. I actually thought that Neymar wasn't playing much because of the knock he received in the early part of the match. Word is that he is totally recovered for Friday's game and that can only be good news for Brazil. They are a hard team to beat and I don't think that Columbia has enough experience at this stage to beat them on their ground.

To qualify: Germany, Brazil


  1. Well done for match analyses, very broadly written. I predicted today's match between Brazil and Colombia on my blog

  2. Thanks! good luck on your selections.