My previous post on the FIFA world cup predicted the outcome of the pre-quarterfinal matches. I made predictions for 6 out of 8 matches. All six havecome true. Now time for some predictions for the quarter finals. The most impressive teams so far have been Colombia and Netherlands. I was reluctant to name Colombia earlier because of the perception that they had so far played teams that were not too strong. Netherlands continues to be the most impressive teams because they seem to have done it all. Demolished a champion, come from behind, topped the group by easily beating the runner up and shown nerves of steel to win a game at the Brink of elimination from the world cup. They have shown all the attributes of a champion team. Colombia, in my opinion have not been tested yet the way netherlands have. They have won all their games comfortably. We are not yet sure what they would do on a day when they fall behind.
France have won all their games comfortably playing weak teams in the group stages and have rarely been tested. But their defeat of Nigeria has been impressive. Germany has been tested and have come out on top on each occasion. They have shown their mental toughness. Add to this, the fact that Germany have traditionally dominated both France and England in international tournaments. The French have a major inferiority complex vis-a-vis the Germans. Several times in the past better French teams have lost to weaker German teams.
Clearly Columbia has been more impressive than Brazil in this world cup. By form alone, Colombia should beat Brazil. But the game is not played by Robots. It’s played by Humans. And with humans psychology is a factor. Watching Brazil Vs Chile, I just could not escape the feeling that Chile did not truly believe they could win. They basically choked at the Penalty shootout when actually Brazil was the team under most pressure. Do Colombia believe they can beat Brazil? That, in my opinion is the main question. So far their record against Brazil is 2-15. Because I am not sure of their mental make-up, I decline to call this match.
Can’t help noticing that Costa Rica conceded a goal to Greece in their dying minutes. Did they relax? But they did not let the disappointment get to them. They came back to win on Penalties. That takes mental strength as well.
Belgium look Solid. Mentally tough. Dark horses before the tourney. They are living up to their billing. Argentina have not looked that solid. They are finding it hard to score and when they do score, they have trouble holding on to it. But Argentina have Messi and they seem overdependent on him.
In General, great player Vs Great team and the Great team will always win. Going by that Colombia should beat Brazil and Belgium should beat Argentina. But we are human beings with emotions, with memories. We feel pressure. We doubt. It is this that is preventing me from Going with Belgium and Colombia straight up. Then there is the matter of my emotions and biases. I like Messi too much to be able to contemplate an Argentine loss to Belgium.
Each of these games is much harder to call than the pre-quarter finals.
1. Germany to beat France
2. Colombia Vs Brazil: Too Close to call (On Form: Columbia, On Psychology: Brazil)
3. Argentina to beat Belgium: Too close to call (On Form: Belgium, On Messi: Argentina)
4. Netherlands to beat Costa Rica