There are only 10 days of the World Cup left.
The World Cup Final is on Sunday 11th July at 19:30 GMT. Today sees the start of the Quarter Finals, and with only 8 teams left, this is when the pressure really starts. A brief Preview of the Quarter finals:Netherlands vs Brazil
- This could be one of the games of the tournament.
Netherlands have held it together this time (Almost...
) and not imploded. Brazil
have gotten better as the tournament has progressed, the hard-fought 2 -1 win over North Korea
seems a long time ago now. They beat Chili in the Round of 16, Bielsa was undone by poor defending at a corner, and Brazils rapid counter-attacks, utilising Kaka, Robinho and Fabiano.
Ghana vs Uruguay
- This could be a historic day for African football if Ghana win, as it would mark the first time an African team has made it through to the semi-finals. Asamoah Gyan is also one of the top scorers and could win the Golden Boot
, as could Uraguay's Suarez. They will have their work cut out dealing with players like Diego Forlan, who has been the heartbeat of this Uraguayan side, and Luis Suarez, however Ghana has several players who either play or have played in the English Premiership such as Kevin Prince Boateng, John Paintsil, and their excellent goalkeeper Richard Kingson and who are used to dealing with top quality players.
- This would appear to be the easiest one to call, but this is the World Cup and anything can happen
. Spain is a team full of world class star players, Iniesta, Xavi, Alonso, Torres, however Torres has yet to find his shooting boots, and was replaced in their last game (vs Portugal) by Llorente, a much more physical player who held the line and caused problems for Portugal, and was involoved in the play leading up to David Villa's winning goal. Paraguay have had a strange time, beating both Argentina and Brazil in the World Cup Qualifiers, but then losing their way towards the end of qualifying, and after qualifying, drawing with the Netherlands and losing to Qatar in warm up friendlies. And in the round of 16 they only beat Japan (after a very dull game) on Penalties. Key players are their strike force Roque Santa Cruise and Lucas Barrios.
Argentina vs Germany
- This could also be another one of the games of the tournament. Germany are a young side with plenty of talent who play fast football and can attack like lightening on the break (I should know- I'm English!) Their key play-maker is Mesut Ozil
, who is technically gifted and has a free role, playing left/right/central with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira covering his movement. Up front they have two excellent (at international level) strikers in Lahm and Podolski. And already they are taunting the Argentinians
. Argentina are, as probably most of the world knows, managed by Diego Armando Maradona
, a man who has been pure theatre
at the World cup Finals. Their qualifying included playing around a hundred different players, before settling on their squad, which includes World Number 1 Leo Messi, as well a star strikers Higuain, Tevez and Milito. Maradona is also smart: he has, on his coaching staff, the talents of Oscar Ruggeri, Sergio Batistuta and Carlos Bilardo, the last of whom managed Argentina when the won the World Cup in 1986 with Maradona as a player.
The Semi finals line up like this:
Netherlands/Brazil vs Uraguay/Ghana
Spain/Paraguay vs Argentina/Germany
BBC sport team webpages:
So who do you want to win?