2014 World Cup: Monday’s Matchups
The knockout round of the 2014 World Cup certainly hasn’t disappointed these last four days, as soccer fans have been blessed with some intense matches.
Brazil started the round of 16 off with a narrow win over Chile, while Columbia took a 2-0 decision over Uruguay. That gave the win to two favorites on the first day of the knockout round, but gave way to an upset on day two.
The Netherlands scored late and stole a 2-1 win over Mexico on Sunday afternoon, while Costa Rica snuck by Greece via a 5-3 margin in a penalty shootout.
The excitement will only continue on Monday afternoon, as France and Nigeria get things rolling at 12:00 PM Eastern, followed by the second match of the day between Germany and Algeria.
Both matches could be closely contested and heated, so let’s break them down and pick a winner:
France vs. Nigeria
France enters today’s matchup with no losses on their record in this World Cup, after settling to a draw with Ecuador and taking two wins over Honduras and Switzerland. Nigeria hasn’t been quite as impressive, with a draw against Bosnia-Herzegovina and a loss to Argentina.
Needless to say, France has been more explosive on offense (seven goals in their first two games), while giving up just two goals through three contests. They have the edge on offense and defense and have yet to lose. Nigeria still has a shot if they can keep this a defensive battle, but the odds are still likely we see France move on in the tourney.
Pick: France, 3-2
Germany vs. Algeria
The second game of the afternoon is easily one of the more hyped battles of the second round, as both Germany and Algeria are two of the more balanced teams remaining in the knockout round.
Only one can move on after today, though, so it could come down to a penalty kick situation. Germany has displayed their grit in a narrow win over a feisty USA squad, as well as a hard-fought draw with Ghana. It’s the same story for Algeria, though, who had a draw with Russia and narrowly lost to a tough Belgium squad to get the grouping round going.
That being said, Germany is by far the favorite in what could be an intense defensive matchup. Still, Algeria will have plenty of incentive to top Germany, as they take them on for the first time since an infamous battle in 1982. It could be a close finish that goes down to the wire, but Germany still needs to be expected to come out on top.
Pick: Germany, 2-1
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