Argentina Vs Brazil, Today 3:05pm
My Prediction: Argentina....3 Brazil...1
Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano, Martin Demichelis, Pablo Zabaleta, Gonzalo Higuain and the list goes on. Why would Brazil want to do this to themselves? Neymar, Oscar, Marcelo, Paulinho and that list goes on. Great players but who somehow cannot play as a national team. Coach Alejandro Sabella is on a high after reaching the World Cup final, although not getting the title must have been so disappointing. They’ll need a confidence boost and will get it. Brazil re-hired Dunga after letting Luis Felipe Scolari go after the semi final embarrassment at the World Cup. I’m not sure whether a coach who was previously there can achieve much. I’m sure you remember that Scolari was also on his second stint at Brazil Coach. Le Selecao are no longer the flashy, fast paced team that saw them win a record number of World Cup titles. They will want to prove that they are somehow not completely doomed but beating World Cup finalists, but that is just a pipe dream. Brazil was not good in Brazil in the summer and little has improved.
France Vs Portugal Today 9:45pm
My Prediction: Les Bleues 2-2 Portugal
France are not a bad side and were eliminated from the last World Cup 1-0 by the eventual Champions Germany, in the quarter final stage. Didier Deschamps did some brave things ahead of the world showpiece by leaving out players like Samir Nasri who he felt were talented but no committed to national duty.
That helped him earn respect amongst his peers as an independent thinker. Unfortunately his defence may be in trouble tonight given that half of Arsenal’s back line – Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny aren’t available to him.
Debuchy is nursing a long term injury while Koscielny has been sent back to England from camp over concerns of an injury. Deschamps rarely played Koscielny though during the World Cup but Debuchy will be missed. The attack is what is impressive with Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba, not to mention Blaise Matuidi at his disposal.
But there’s fire on the other side of the track. Cristiano Ronaldo has been unbelievable this season scoring three hatricks in four games. Unbelievable! 13 goals in just six league games. I’m not sure what Deschamps will tell his defenders to stop this man but it better be buttered with sugar and spice. Infact the only way France will win this, is if they outscore Portugal.
Portugal had a tough world cup where they only won one game; against Ghana, but drew with the USA and lost 4-0 to Germany. They need motivation and if their star man’s league form is anything to go by, it could spell at least a draw against France.