Good morning, everyone. The group stage was fun, but it only gets better from here. I don’t have much else to say at this point, so I’ll head straight to my picks for today’s games. There’ll be more content as the day goes on.
Brazil 2 Chile 1
As I said yesterday, I really want to pick Chile in this game. They are a force going forward, pressing high up the field at all times. We saw Brazil struggle with similar tactics from Croatia early on in their opener, and they might have more trouble today. Considering Chile is in much better attacking form than Croatia was, Luiz Gustavo, Thiago Silva and David Luiz will have to be on their game if Brazil wants to win. Brazil might have similar success in attack though given that Gary Medel and Arturo Vidal are battling significant injuries. Neymar won’t be fazed by the extra pressure, but his teammates very well might be. Were Chile not affected by injuries, I’d pick them to upset the hosts, but Brazil will edge past them as a result. Neymar will score first on a free kick against the run of play. Chile will tie the game after halftime through Alexis Sanchez, whose combination play with Eduardo Vargas will produce a vital goal. Julio Cesar will look suspect in net. However, Brazil will score a late winner on a goal from Oscar. We will all be better for Howard Webb refereeing this match, as he will keep things under control. It should be a lot of fun.
Colombia 3 Uruguay 0
Were Luis Suarez on the field, Uruguay might stand a chance. Edinson Cavani has been largely disappointing thus far, and he will need to be at his absolute best if they want to win. The midfield will face a much tougher task against Colombia than they did against Italy and their negative tactics. Colombia will once again impress, with James Rodriguez taking over the show. He will score today, with a wonderfully taken effort from distance. Juan Cuadrado will continue his impressive form as well, getting on the goalscoring sheet early on. Colombia’s last goal will come from Jackson Martinez, whose recent goalscoring form may earn him a start in the quarterfinal. Uruguay’s midfield will be left badly exposed, and Diego Godin won’t be able to win it himself. While Godin might deserve some sympathy, not a soul will feel sorry for Suarez. Colombia will be deserving winners.
These two South American contests should make for a fun afternoon. Check back later for more content. Thanks for reading.