What is going on my fellow footy lovers? Here we are back again to see how busted everyones brackets got after the fall of so many titans. Germany craps out, Argentina crawls out (some how), Senegal got knocked out by cards, and just soooooooo much drama so lets get into it.
Above is the knockout round interview with Zack Steffen.
So this is what the match ups are looking like for the knockout rounds. Exciting right? For how this worked out and the teams that were eliminated that we didn’t expect I still think these match ups ended up looking really good and should lead to some great matches.
First we have the winners from group a Uruguay going up against the runners up in group b Portugal. Now I think Ronaldo has been in terrific form and if he can keep the form up I do not think Uruguay have enough to stop him. Yes Uruguay has Godin and Jimenez who are very used to dealing with Ronaldo but, at the same time he is very used to scoring against them. The problem on the other side of the field is the old men playing in the back for Portugal and if they can keep Suarez and Cavani quiet. This is going to me a great match but I am giving the edge to Portugal. Portugal has the better midfield (Weird to say) and more options attacking. If Portugal can feed Ronaldo and try to deny the Uruguayan strikers the ball I think they advance.
(Insert Ronaldo carrying his team joke here)
We are going with the matches that are playing together and going in order so next we have the group c winners France taking on group D runners up Argentina. Alright so for me this is an easy one and I truly hope I am right. France is just all around the better team, defense, offense, midfield, coaching ( and I hate Deschamps). Just everything about France is better than Argentina, there is just one thing holding France back and that one thing is Lionel Messi. He finally has his world cup goal and he brought his team back from death. This is all scripted in my opinion in Fifa for Messi to go on a crazy run, but his team just is not good enough to do that. Unless Messi is putting up at least a hat trick they will not advance. I have France on to the next round.
The Match ups…
Next we have the winners from group b Spain going against the group a runners up Russia. Now this is another one that is a simple choice for me, but Russia has been surprising us this tournament (even though they are cheating and using drugs). Spain is still the stronger side, every position on the field is better than Russia, they have all the experience of doing this all before. After the crash out in 2014 they have some people to put back in check because they are still Spain, and they are still one of the dominant forces from Europe. I think something shady will have to happen in order for Russia to win, but they will be extremely dangerous on set pieces with Golovin, he can hit the hell out of the ball, and their big man upfront Dzyuba. Also they have an ex madrid man Cheryshev who knows the style and could make an impact. I have Spain moving on regardless. VAMOS.
(Expect lots of this…)
Next matchup with have the group d winners Croatia who have been absolutely killing it this tournament, they are playing world class football. They will be playing the group c runners up Denmark. Now Croatia is definitely the better side here, but they are questionable in the back. Now Denmark is also a bit questionable in the back but with Schmeichel in net he has been out of this world and will give the Croatians problems. With a midfield like Croatia’s that can just make the ball tick like a well oiled machine I just don’t see them losing this one, but on the opposite side you have Christian Eriksen who can create from nothing. Be careful on set pieces, pray that Lovren holds the back line together, and let the Croatian midfield work. Put your money on Croatia people.
Next we have group e winners Brazil playing the group f runners up Mexico. Now Mexico is coming off some great form after beating Germany and South Korea, but then they got smoked by Sweden so who knows which Mexico we are going to see against Brazil. If they sit in and play Chucky Lozano on the counter they may have a chance, but Brazil is always the biggest threat in the world cup. They have experience, the talent, the coaching, the passion, and the most well known world cup fan base. You have people who don’t even know soccer who know Pele and wear the green and gold, Brazil has been a power house in the world cup since it began. I don’t think Mexico can continue to play how they have been which is super defensive and counter attacks. This is the typical weaker side move, but Brazil has already been dealing with that the entire tournament. Neymar, Coutinho, Casemiro, Firmino, Willian… do I need to keep going cause some of these aren’t even starters….. Brazil to move on past Mexico. Ochoa good luck the only chance of Mexico moving on is all on him.
Now we have the group g winners Belgium taking on the group h runners up Japan. Now Belgium has been absolutely cruising through the tournament, even with their b team in they were able to go 3 wins for 3. Kevin De Bruyne coming off one of his best ever seasons and establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in the world, along with Hazard, Lukaku, Mertens, and some of the best center backs from the premiere league, its almost as if this team was all built together at the perfect time.(That’s why they call it the golden generation) They are playing a very solid Japan side who were able to deal with a lot of talent from their group. Kagawa the center mid that keeps their offense moving is going to have his hands full, as the Japanese don’t have too many scoring threats, and the ones they do are well past their prime. With how Belgium has looked I can’t see Japan getting passed them but they could possibly score….which would be nice for them. Belgium to advance.
(Nothing against Belgium or Batsman just a great gif)
Next up we have the group f winners (MADNESS) Sweden taking on the group e runners up Switzerland. This is going to be a great match, these are two teams with a couple stars and then players that know their roles and are eager to perform. For the Swiss you have Shaqiri, Lichtsteiner, and Xhaka that are the name that stick out to me. Then for the Swede’s you have Forsberg and Granqvist as the men that I think will be leading Sweden. Now this is a bit of a toss up because I do not think the Swiss even deserve to be here and the Swede’s put in such great performances against good teams. I am going to have to take Sweden to advance here I don’t know if Shaqiri and company have enough gas to keep this run going. Especially after getting in trouble just for their celebrations which had a deeper meaning, but still its just a celebration.
The final match we have is group h winners Colombia against group g runner up England. Now I think England have the better side, but Colombia plays the better football together. Colombia will be playing most likely without James their golden boy and the 2014 golden boot winner, this is by no means good news unless you are an England fan. On the other side I do not think Southgate has England playing their best football, I am not sure if it’s chemistry or just playing people out of position, but I think they really did benefit from having one of the weakest groups in the tournament. It gave Harry Kane bags of confidence, the fans confidence, and the players some games to get used to their formation (Which makes absolutely no fu**in sense to me). I think that without James Colombia will go down, Harry Kane will still be running for that golden boot, and English fans will be burning down their cities claiming its coming home. England will move on.
So these are my predictions love em or hate em I am on top, I am always right don’t question it just roll with it. Chat shit with me on twitter @shopaaj.
AND STAY WAVY.