World Cup 2014: TV Schedule, Live Stream and Quarter-Finals Picks

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World Cup 2014: TV Schedule, Live Stream and Quarter-Finals Picks
Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

Following Belgium's dramatic extra-time defeat of USA we are now left with eight teams—all starting to truly believe they can be crowned world champions.

The quarter-finals will be contested by all eight winners from the group stages, setting up four mouthwatering ties for what has been the greatest World Cup finals in living memory.

Hosts Brazil will have to face a Colombia team who have shown exceptional form during the competition and pose a real and present danger to the nation's chances of lifting the trophy on home soil.

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

European powerhouses France and Germany will face off against each other in the Maracana, ensuring that one of the continent's major forces is in the semi-finals.

Lionel Messi's Argentina will have to defeat the much-fancied Belgium team to progress to the last four. 

And Louis van Gaal's Netherlands side will take on the competition's surprise package as they play Costa Rica.

Here is how you can watch the World Cup quarter-final matches:

World Cup Quarter-Finals TV Schedule and Streams
Date Match Kick-Off Venue TV Stream
July 4 France v Germany 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET Rio De Janeiro BBC One/ESPN2 BBC Website/ESPN Player
July 4 Brazil v Colombia 9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ET Fortaleza ITV/ESPN ITV Website/ESPN Player
July 5 Argentina v Belgium 5 p.m BST/12 p.m. ET Brasilia ITV/ESPN2 ITV Website/ESPN Player
July 5 Netherlands v Costa Rica 9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ET Salvador BBC One/ESPN BBC Website/ESPN Player

FIFA.com

 

Brazil To Exit The Tournament?

Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Despite this World Cup being full of entertainment and excruciating drama, the results have largely run to form with the major nations overcoming all of the challenges before them.

Of course, the pressure on Brazil is immense. The home nation are not only expected to win, but win with flair and gusto. 

However, there are questions as to how good this team actually is as we venture deep into the competition.

The challenge of Colombia and James Rodriguez will give the Brazilians their first real threat during the World Cup and there is every chance they will fall at this hurdle.

Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

Owen Gibson, chief sports correspondent for the Guardian, highlighted the battle between the teams' two top stars and commented about the defensive frailties of both sides:

Indeed, Brazil's defence could be the defining factor of this match. David Luiz can be either sublime or a liability and any slip in quality will allow Colombia's rampant attack to penetrate.

With Neymar still struggling with injury, the match might be a jump too far for the hosts. James and company are in wondrous form, and the Colombians appear to have all the tools to stun the host nation.

Pick: Colombia win

 

Karim Benzema To Punish Germany?

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

France have shown a great resolve in the past two weeks to go from little-fancied to genuine contenders. And that is mainly due to the danger posed in the striker's position by Real Madrid's Karim Benzema.

Benzema's reputation has fluctuated over the years from omnipotent attacking force to ineffective and lazy, but in this competition he is on fire.

The 26-year-old already has three goals and two assists at the World Cup, per WhoScored.com, and looks a good bet to add to these figures.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Germany looked strong early in the group stages, but weaknesses have now been identified. They struggled against the African forces of Ghana and Algeria, but the French will surely offer even more of a problem to their defence.

If Benzema plays through the middle, rather than out wide on the left, he can be the individual that breaks German hearts.

France have a great chance of progressing to a semi-final that no one thought possible before the first ball in Brazil was kicked.

Pick: France win

 

Belgium No Threat To Lionel Messi

Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

As with Neymar, the pressure on Lionel Messi in this competition is astronomical. The player is expected to perform heroics in every minute of every match, and it is an expectation that comes with the territory of being one of the World Cup's poster boys.

So far, Messi has lived up to his billing. He outshone rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the group stages as the Portuguese attacker suffered with injury, and he was yet again the difference for Argentina in the round of 16.

Now Argentina must navigate their way past a Belgium team who threatened to surprise many but have so far failed to live up to the billing.

The Europeans struggled against the USA, and despite their 100 percent record in the group phase, they look remarkably average.

Messi and his team-mates should make their way to the semi-final with relative ease, but they need to be in top form. Belgium are still waiting for Eden Hazard to hit his best, and if he achieves that in the quarter-finals, they have a chance of causing a shock.

Pick: Argentina win

 

Louis van Gaal's Last Adventure For Netherlands

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

On paper, it was questionable whether Louis van Gaal's Netherlands team could get out of Group B with Spain and Chile in their path.

But not only did they qualify, they did it with some Dutch style.

Yes, the tactics were unfamiliar as LVG moved away from his trusted 4-3-3 and moved to a counter-attack 3-5-2, but the formation more than worked and gave Netherlands a path to this stage of the competition.

In Arjen Robben, the Dutch have a player for the big occasions. The winger simply has no limitations as he runs at defenders and destroys them.

Will Colombia knock Brazil out of the World Cup?

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Costa Rica shocked the football world as they topped Group D, but they have been excellent value for their newly acquired status.

However, they will need to play the game of their lives to stop their opponents from winning the match.

If Robben and Robin van Persie play to their maximum capacity it will be yet another semi-final berth for the Dutch before Van Gaal says goodbye to join Manchester United in the Premier League. 

Pick: Netherlands win 

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