1. France v/s Germany
Twice in the 1980s, the French team fell to what was then known as West Germany in the semis of 1982 and 1986. The 1982 match in particular will still hurt after they were 3-1 up in extra time, but still went on to blow the lead and lose the match in penalties. The past will be of little relevance though– as both teams have shown contrasting form in reaching the quarterfinals at Brazil. France have been better than expected and faced little problem seeing of Nigeria in the round of 16. Germany meanwhile struggled against a heroic Algeria, but find themselves in yet another quarterfinal– they have made the last 8 every world cup since 1938.
This is a titanic match between two European powerhouses to win the right to face the winner between South American teams Brazil and Columbia. Could this be an all European final on South American turf? One of these teams will have a say.
Prediction: Germany to win in extra time.
2. Brazil v/s Columbia
Brazil got through a very shaky match against rivals Chile and barely made it past the penalty shootouts. They haven’t shown the kind of form they were expected to, and have scraped their way to yet another championship quarterfinal. They will face the resurgent Columbia– who are yet to lose or draw a game, and were the only team to get past the round of 16 (vs Uruguay) without extra time.
Prediction: An upset perhaps. Columbia to continue their dream.
3. Belgium v/s Argentina
Crowd favorites Belgium face the Messi-powered Argentina, who have looked terribly scrappy in every game so far. They struggled past a solid Swiss side and broke their hearts (Di Maria in extra time), and as Mess I said, they have suffered a lot so far. Belgium broke American hearts in extra time but made it through after USA goalie Tim Howard made a world record 22 saves in the game to deny them repeatedly. He could do no more in extra time– and Belgium prevented any major upset in the round of 16.
Prediction: Belgium to win.
4. Netherlands v/s Costa Rica
Favorites Netherlands left it to the last 3 minutes against a brave Mexico to score 2 goals, one of which was a result of a mandatory Robben dive in the box. They will consider themselves lucky though after being frustrated through the game before Schneider produced his magic. They face arguably the fairytale side of the Cup in Costa Rica, who are visibly running out of energy as evident by their penalty win past Greece.
Prediction: Netherlands for an easy win.