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

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2014

Brazil's Neymar forms a heart with his hands as he leaves the pitch after the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. Brazil won 3-2 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 draw after extra-time. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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
DateMatchKick-OffVenueTVStream
July 4France v Germany5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETRio De JaneiroBBC One/ESPN2BBC Website/ESPN Player
July 4Brazil v Colombia9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETFortalezaITV/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
July 5Argentina v Belgium5 p.m BST/12 p.m. ETBrasiliaITV/ESPN2ITV Website/ESPN Player
July 5Netherlands v Costa Rica9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETSalvadorBBC One/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
FIFA.com

 

Brazil To Exit The Tournament?

TERESOPOLIS, BRAZIL - JULY 01: Head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari (C) gives instructions for David Luiz (L), Neymar (2nd-L), Thiago Silva (3rd-L), Hulk (2rd-R) and Fernandinho (R) during a training session of the Brazilian national football team at the squad'
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.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  James Rodriguez of Colombia celebrates scoring his team's second goal and his second of the game during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June 28, 2014 in Rio de
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?

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - JUNE 30: Karim Benzema of France looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between France and Nigeria at Estadio Nacional on June 30, 2014 in Brasilia, Brazil.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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.

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 30:  Jerome Boateng and Per Mertesacker of Germany celebrate their team's second goal in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Germany and Algeria at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 30, 2014 in Po
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

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JUNE 29:  Head coach Louis van Gaal of the Netherlands (2nd L) looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Netherlands and Mexico at Castelao on June 29, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griff
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.

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