World Cup Preview: Round of 16
Now that we broken down and picked how each of the eight groups will turnout to fill out the round of 16, we begin by breaking down each match-up and selecting what eight teams will move on to the quarterfinals of Brazil 2014.
Brazil (A1) vs Netherlands (B2)- While the Netherlands has plenty of firepower, Brazil has just as much scoring power. This might the most entertaining, offensive-filled game in the tournament. At the end, the home-field advantage for Brazil will lead them into the quarterfinals.
Colombia (C1) vs Italy (D2)- Colombia has weapons, but Falcao unable to get healthy enough to make the 23-man roster will hurt Colombia's chances of making a run. Italy may have left New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi home, but still bring plenty of punch with the creative, yet volatile, Mario Balotelli. Italy advances to face the World Cup hosts and a rematch of the United States 1994 final.
France (E1) vs Nigeria (F2)- Losing Ribery to a back injury hurts the French, but they still have more than enough firepower to win their group and defeat a Nigerian side that, while talented, seems to be more an enigma than a sure bet these days. France wins.
Germany (G1) vs Russia (H2)- Russia might advance out of group play, but only because neither Algeria nor South Korea will be able to realistically challenge for the second spot-- not because the Russians will dazzle. The Germans on the other hand will look dominant in the "Group of Death" and will continue to look like a squad capable of becoming the first European team to win it all in the Americas. Germany walking away.
Spain (B1) vs Mexico (A2)- Miguel Herrera will get his Mexican selection out of group play, only to meet the juggernaut that is Spain. Spain will look to repeat as World Cup champions to go with back-to-back Euro titles and may make Mexico look bad while doing so. Spain to the quarterfinals.
Uruguay (D1) vs Japan (C2)- Many believe that Diego Forlan's best days are behind him, and they may be right. But Forlan still has gas left in the tank to help his squad go far in the tourney. Forlan also doesn't have to do it all, as he has Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani to help carry the load. Uruguay advances here.
Argentina (F1) vs Switzerland (E2)- The Swiss never faced a team quite as loaded as Argentina in their qualifying group. Even the French won't show as many options and weapons as Argentina. Argentina's defense may not be great, but will do enough to set up their offense. Argentina moves on as a favorite to win it all.
Belgium (H1) vs United States (G2)- Belgium brings some serious scoring punch against an American team whose biggest weakness is their backline. Sure U.S. has a great goaltender in Tim Howard, but he can stop only so many shots caused by his defense's mistakes. The little country that could advances to face the Argentines.
Brazil vs Italy
France vs Germany
Spain vs Uruguay
Argentina vs Belgium