World Cup 2014 Predictions: Projecting Final Score for Day 20 Fixtures

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2014

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JUNE 26: United States fans cheer 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.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Two very exciting matchups complete the last-16 clashes, as Argentina take on Switzerland and Belgium meet the USA on Day 20 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The winners of Tuesday's two games will go on to meet in the quarter-finals, completing the line-up of the last eight.

Both are difficult games to call based on the respective teams' form from the group stages, but now that the tournament has reached the knockout rounds, there has to be a winner, even if penalties are needed to separate the sides.

Read on for final-score projections for the Day 20 action from South America.


Argentina vs. Switzerland

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 30:  Lionel Messi of Argentina during a training session at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 30, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Neither of these sides looked completely convincing in the group stages, Argentina winning all three of their games but only narrowly, while the Swiss were thrashed 5-2 by the French during their Group E campaign.

There will be plenty of attacking quality on show in Sao Paulo, with an in-form Lionel Messi likely to play a big part in the eventual outcome of the match.

The Barcelona star effectively carried his side throughout the group stage, scoring four times in its three matches, and he should get on the scoresheet again on Tuesday.

He will potentially have plenty of opportunities to exploit a suspect-looking Swiss defence, per The Guardian's Owen Gibson, that has not looked nearly as convincing as when conceding just six goals in 10 matches in qualifying, per UEFA.

However, in Xherdan Shaqiri—hat-trick hero against Honduras in a 3-0 win—the Swiss have a major attacking threat as well, and their seven tournament goals is superior to Argentina's six.

As's Harry Sherlock highlights, Argentina's defence is also not the best:

Thus, there should definitely be goals in this encounter, and it should prove very entertaining with Argentina likely to edge it just.

Prediction: Argentina 3-2 Switzerland


Belgium vs. USA

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  Clint Dempsey of the United States works out during training at Sao Paulo FC on June 28, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Belgium conceded just one goal throughout the entire group stage—a penalty against Algeria—and won all three of their matches.

However, they were not overly convincing in attack despite their wealth of firepower—each victory was by a single-goal margin—and could come unstuck against the USA, who emerged from a tough Group G including Portugal, Germany and Ghana.

The USA are a very well-organised side, and in Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey, they have top quality up front and at the back, per Sky Sports' Alex Ferguson:

Belgium have yet to face a really stern test, and the Americans are a step up in terms of opposition from Russia, Algeria and South Korea.

Jozy Altidore is available to return for the match, but Jurgen Klinsmann will likely play him from the bench and start with five in the midfield to bolster their defensive capabilities, per CNN's Rachel Nichols:

It is unlikely to be a high-scoring game—both sides scored four in the group stages—but the USA look well-equipped to frustrate the Belgians, and Klinsmann's side could well cause an upset if it is effective on the counter-attack.

Prediction: Belgium 0-1 USA