2014 World Cup: Let the Fireworks Begin
The USA Men’s National Team narrowly missed out on moving on into the second round of the knockout round, but gave a spirited effort in a 1-0 loss to Belgium. That has America’s team missing out on what could have been quite an explosive and exciting Fourth of July weekend.
Still, there are four intense soccer matches slated for the holiday, with two clashes set for July 4th, specifically.
Let’s breakdown the two games set up for the fourth and see which side the fireworks will be setting off the most as we make our World Cup picks:
France vs. Germany
France and Germany meet up after dispatching solid opponents in Nigeria and Algeria, respectively. Despite not playing their best ball lately, Germany is still the tentative favorite in this meeting as they have the better defense and appear to be the more consistent and more disciplined squad on paper.
Neither team has lost yet in their World Cup run, though, setting up a potential battle down to the wire. France will be a popular upset pick, but the German team is very strong and battle tested. Look for them to batten down the hatches on defense and take a narrow victory.
Pick: Germany, 1-0
Brazil vs. Colombia
While the battle between France and Germany could surely be one of the better World Cup contests in the knockout round, the second game of Friday afternoon might take the cake. Colombia and Brazil both enter an intense matchup with zero losses through four games, while Colombia has a perfect 4-0 run with no draws, either.
Colombia’s perfect run makes them the sexy pick here, but few are willing to bet against Brazil, who was figured to be the more balanced team coming into the tournament – especially given that they’re playing in their own backyard.
In fact, Brazil’s only non-win was a brutal 0-0 draw with a very tough Mexico team, making their only would-be blemish look a lot less negative. All of the evidence adds to a virtual toss up in a matchup between two very balanced teams that will play with true grit until the final minute. Still, Brazil is playing in front of their own people, so it’s going to be hard to bet against them now.
Pick: Brazil, 2-1
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