June 12, 2014

2014 World Cup preview Part 3: The knockout phase + predictions!

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: My pick of who will win the World Cup in Brazil. Some will be shocked, many won’t but if there’s one prediction that I haven’t made clear yet, it’s this: We’re in for an exciting month of football.

Round of 16

Brazil over Chile – An excellent rivalry matchup ends up with the hosts victorious.

Italy over Colombia – A mild upset with the Italians out-maneuvering the South Americans.

France over Bosnia and Herzegovina – The upstart Dragons can’t contain a determined French side.

Germany over Russia – The Russians are no match for the Germans’ depth in the midfield.

Spain over Croatia – Spaniards are better all over the pitch, making this an easy pick.

Uruguay over Japan – The Blue Samurais’ sneaky run comes to an end against Suarez and Co.

Argentina over Switzerland – The Swiss will try to frustrate the Argentines, but can’t do enough to go through.

Portugal over Belgium – Could be one of the Cup’s best games. Ronaldo shines in the clutch.

Quarterfinals

Brazil over Italy – The Azzurri are the first team to really pressure the hosts, who win in a shootout.

Germany over France – A good old Europe rivalry; these two teams could see a lot of yellow as German wins a tight battle.

Spain over Uruguay – The Uruguayan defence and midfield isn’t good enough to counter Spain’s strong possession game.

Argentina over Portugal – Messi gets the best of Ronaldo, as he often does. A storyline made for the World Cup.

Semifinals

Brazil over Germany – Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Germans bow out before this if they faced tougher competition in the knockouts.

Spain over Argentina – Messi’s Barca teammates get the better of him in this surprisingly defensive affair.

Final

Spain 2, Brazil 1 – The defending champions hold on to defeat the hosts and get revenge for last year’s Confederation Cup final beatdown.

AWARDS

Golden boot: Diego Costa, Spain

Golden gloves: Julio Cesar, Brazil

Golden ball: Andres Iniesta, Spain

Silver ball: Neymar, Brazil

Bronze ball: Lionel Messi, ARG

Breakout players: Ross Barkley (ENG), Koke (ESP), Jackson Martinez (COL), Xherdan Shaqiri (SWI), Julian Draxler (GER), Antoine Griezmann (FRA), Eduardo Vargas (CHI).

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki as well as QMI’s @KurtLarSUN for his on-the-ground coverage in Brazil.

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