FIFA World Cup

World Cup 2014: Updated Schedule, Start Times, Live Stream, Bracket Predictions

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the group F World Cup soccer match against Argentina at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2014

While there was little room for error in the group stage at the World Cup, there is absolutely none of that in the upcoming round of 16.

There have already been quite a few surprises in this tournament with teams like Spain, Italy, England and Portugal going home while Costa Rica, Greece and Nigeria remain alive in the competition. With the event moving to single elimination, things are about to get even crazier.

Still, only one of the 16 teams remaining can come away as World Cup champions at the end of the grueling month.

Here is a complete look at the schedule for the knockout stage with predictions for the upcoming matches. All matches will be available to view on live stream at ESPN3.

2014 World Cup Knockout Round Schedule
DateRoundMatch #MatchupTime (ET)Where
June 28Round of 1649Brazil vs. Chile12 p.m.Belo Horizonte
June 28Round of 1650Colombia vs. Uruguay4 p.m.Rio De Janeiro
June 29Round of 1651Netherlands vs. Mexico12 p.m.Fortaleza
June 29Round of 1652Costa Rica vs. Greece4 p.m.Recife
June 30Round of 1653France vs. Nigeria12 p.m.Brasilia
June 30Round of 1654Germany vs. Algeria4 p.m.Porto Alegre
July 1Round of 1655Argentina vs. Switzerland12 p.m.Sao Paulo
July 1Round of 1656Belgium vs. United States4 p.m.Salvador
July 4Quarterfinal58Match 53 winner vs. Match 54 winner12 p.m.Rio De Janeiro
July 4Quarterfinal57Match 49 winner vs. Match 50 winner4 p.m.Fortaleza
July 5Quarterfinal60Match 55 winner vs. Match 56 winner12 p.m.Brasilia
July 5Quarterfinal59Match 51 winner vs. Match 52 winner4 p.m.Salvador
July 8Semifinal61Match 57 winner vs. Match 58 winner4 p.m.Belo Horizonte
July 9Semifinal62Match 59 winner vs. Match 60 winner4 p.m.Sao Paulo
July 123rd Place Match63Match 61 loser vs. Match 62 loser4 p.m.Brasilia
July 13Final64Match 61 winner vs. Match 62 winner3 p.m.Rio De Janeiro
via FIFA.com

via Bleacher Report

 

Predicted Semifinalists

Brazil

Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

South America has played extremely well to start the tournament with five of the six teams reaching the next round. Only Ecuador were eliminated so far, and that was mostly due to a miracle late goal by Switzerland.

However, most of these teams will now have to compete against each other, as noted by Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated:

The most intriguing of these matches will be between Brazil and Chile in the round of 16. Chile have shown that they can be extremely dynamic with Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal creating tons of chances on the attack. The problem is that the aggressive approach will leave openings for Neymar and company to help the hosts escape with a win.

Meanwhile, Uruguay will have trouble without Luis Suarez, who will miss the rest of the tournament for biting an opponent. Colombia have the ability to move onto the quarterfinals, but they cannot match Brazil in the next round and the squad will keep things up into the semifinals.

 

Germany 

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 16:  Thomas Mueller of Germany (L) celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal and completing his hat trick with Sami Khedira during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal at Arena Fonte Nova on Jun
Phil Walter/Getty Images

It seems like no one can stop Thomas Mueller when he gets near the net. The German forward scored his fourth goal of the tournament against the United States, helping his side win the difficult Group G and get into good position in the knockout stage.

His manager Joachim Loew explained, via Brett Martel of The Associated Press:

Right now he is very difficult for any opponent to figure out and it's difficult to stand against him because he's a very smart player and he finds always a way to go into the area. He's been in great shape for weeks, and you have the impression it's so easy for him.

Of course, Germany might be able to slow down if Mueller was the only true attacker. However, teammates like Mario Gotze and Miroslav Klose add to a roster that has world-class players at every position. 

The squad should be able to move past Algeria in the next match and follow that up with a close battle against France in the quarterfinals. No matter who Germany plays, they should be able to keep up their winning ways into the semifinals.

 

Netherlands

Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Not only did Netherlands win all of their matches in the group stages, but they did it against some very good opponents. They shocked the world in the first contest when they defeat Spain, 5-1. They struggled a bit against Australia but still came away with a win over the Socceroos, and then over Chile.

It will be difficult to keep this up against the strong defense of Mexico, but stars like Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben have proven the ability to score against anyone.

Even in a close match, the Dutch will find a way to get onto the scoresheet and advance to the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, the other round of 16 battle remains a bit more of a surprise, as ESPN the Magazine mocked:

Although this will be a great moment for one of these teams to reach the quarterfinals, neither one will have a strong chance of defeating Netherlands en route to the semifinals.

 

Argentina

With Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel di Maria and others on the attack, there is no question Argentina have one of the top scoring teams in the world. No matter who is playing defense, this group will find a way to get the ball into the back of the net.

However, Bleacher Report's Graham Ruthven points out what has been holding the squad back:

The good news for the top contenders is that this will not be a major issue until the final rounds. Switzerland are not consistent enough on offense to keep up with Argentina, while neither Belgium nor the United States have the centre-backs to stick with Messi.

America certainly have a chance to keep their surprise run alive with a move into the quarterfinals, but the dream will end with a one-sided battle against Argentina.

 

Finals

Germany over Argentina

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JUNE 26:  Thomas Mueller of Germany celebrates scoring his team's first goal with teammates during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil group G match between the United States and Germany at Arena Pernambuco on June 26, 2014 in Recife, Brazil.
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It will take a major effort for anyone to beat Brazil on their home soil, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info:

However, Germany have been playing extremely well in every phase of the game. They have the type of elite midfield that can challenge Brazil for possession in the middle of the pitch and prevent them from getting easy opportunities.

With elite finishers across the pitch, Germany will be able to get the goals they need to pull off the upset.

Meanwhile, Argentina matches up well against the Netherlands as both sides will be extremely aggressive. The talent difference for the South Americans will give them the advantage.

This will lead to an exciting final that plays right into Germany's hands. Without a strong back line, Argentina will be unable to contain Mueller and will fall in a high-scoring final.

 

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