WORLD CUP TODAY: FRIDAY, JULY 4
After the longest break of the tournament so far (how did we survive with no game for two days?) we are back underway for the World Cup quarterfinals.
On Friday, first up France and Germany square off at the Maracana with the Germans incredibly confident of making the WC semifinal.
Then the hosts are back in action as Brazil play red-hot Colombia in an all-South American clash in Fortaleza. Luis Felipe Scolari is contemplating switching his lineup to quell the threat of James Rodriguez.
Here is all the news you need to know, as the quarterfinals begin in Brazil.
MATCH 57: FRANCE VS. GERMANY
France have kept three clean sheets in four games and are looking dynamic, dangerous and full of life under Didier Deschamps. As for Germany, they have labored through their last two matches against the U.S. and Algeria and have seven players struggling with ‘flu-like symptoms’ ahead of this one. Smart move could be on France to upset the Germans, as Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema and Matheiu Valbuena continue to shine.
What they’re saying
German midfielder Toni Kroos is very confident of success, as the Bayern Munich man believes his side will power past the French. ““France have a very strong midfield but if all of us deliver our best performance, then I believe we are the better team,” Kroos said. “But we have to show that. It’s going to be very important for us to have possession and to win the duels. Then, I believe we will really have a good opportunity to win.”
This will be the 26th meeting between the sides. France have won 11, Germany eight and there have been six draws.
Premier League Players
France: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Moussa Sissokho (Newcastle), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Loic Remy (QPR).
MATCH 58: BRAZIL VS. COLOMBIA
The Brazilian public let out a collective sigh of relief following their penalty kick victory over Chile in the last 16. After underwhelming and over-relying on Neymar, Brazil’s run almost came to an end last-time out. Colombia will prove an even stiffer test than Chile as James Rodriguez has scored five so far, two against Uruguay in the last 16, and is the figurehead of a fired-up and talented Cafateros side that are at the quarterfinal stage for the first time in history.
What they’re saying
Brazilian boss Luis Felipe Scolari is in confident mood as the pressure builds. “Does Brazil continue to have one hand on the trophy? Yes. We are going on to the fifth step and there are seven steps.”
Brazil last lost at home in 2002 and are unbeaten in 41 matches on Brazilian soil. They have only lost twice to Colombia in 25 games and have never lost at home.
Premier League players
Brazil: Oscar, Willian, Ramires (Chelsea), Paulinho (Tottenham), Fernandinho (Mmanchester City)