The final eight teams in the 2014 World Cup are now known, so thoughts turn to the quarter-final matches and who will place themselves just one step away from the final.
Brazil face a Colombian attacking machine, with a real danger that this could be the host's final match of the tournament.
Germany also hit their hardest challenge yet as they play a menacing France team who look more capable than many expected just two weeks previous.
Argentina were only slightly behind Brazil in the betting at the start of the tournament and face a tough challenge against Belgium, who are yet to hit their best form.
And the Netherlands play minnows Costa Rica, who would cause a major upset by making the semi-finals.
|World Cup Quarter-Finals Odds And Prediction|
|Match||Odds Home Win||Odds Away Win||Odds Draw||Predicted Score|
|France v Germany||54-25||37-25||23-10||2-2 (France win on pens)|
|Brazil v Colombia||5-6||77-20||53-20||1-2|
|Argentina v Belgium||15-13||29-10||12-5||3-1|
|Netherlands v Costa Rica||10-19||133-20||333-100||2-1|
Colombia Great Odds To Beat Brazil
There is little surprise that Brazil are favourites to beat Colombia considering the hype surrounding the host nation. But those odds certainly do not reflect form or the current state of play.
Colombia are sitting at 193-50 with OddsShark and, given the quality being shown by James Rodriguez and company, they look like excellent value.
Brazil are placed at around the evens mark to win the game, which also offers a certain amount of value to punters given that they are still expected to go all the way in the competition.
But in reality, the Colombians have an excellent chance of overcoming their opponents and making it into the semi-finals.
If James can carry on his goalscoring exploits, which have seen him hit the back of the net in each match of the competition so far, Brazil don't appear to be a cohesive enough unit to drag themselves out of trouble.
Brazilian football writer Andrew Downie highlighted how the host's struggles in their previous match, against Chile, may have shown how they will come up short against Colombia.
Neymar will have to perform heroics to keep Brazil in contention as players such as Hulk, Oscar and Fred flatter to deceive.
The Colombians are the real deal and should have far too much firepower for a Brazilian defence that at times has looked frail.
Prediction: Colombia win
France To Take Germany All The Way
France have been one of the surprise elements of the tournament so far but are still second favourites to win their quarter-final with Germany, currently at odds of 54-25.
This position of slightly better than 2-1 is probably about right in the context of the game, but with the Germans showing they are not as invincible as once thought in games against Ghana, USA and Algeria, the French have a real chance to win.
In Karim Benzema, France have a striker who is in top form and riding on a crest of a wave after winning the Champions League with Real Madrid.
He has looked lively during his country's four matches, scoring an impressive three times, per WhoScored.com, giving him a chance of winning the Golden Boot if his exploits continue.
If Germany step up a gear from their previous games, they can penetrate an average-looking France defence, but the draw after 90 minutes at 23-10 looks most likely.
The lottery of penalties might be an option here and surely the efficient Germans have to lose a match via this method at some point.
Prediction: Draw (France to win on pens)
Argentina To Impress Against Belgium
Like most of the big sides, Argentina have yet to show their full hand from their deck of cards at the World Cup.
But with Lionel Messi showing ominous signs of brilliance combined with the fact that he is scoring goals, Belgium will have to be at their very best to stop the South Americans.
Argentina are at around 15-13 to win the game this quarter-final, while Belgium are no better than 29-10, via Oddschecker.com.
This is a fair evaluation of the match, and if Eden Hazard can show the type of form that has been seen from him at Chelsea there is a chance of an unlikely win for the Europeans.
But with Sergio Aguero on the cusp of full fitness again, Argentina should have too much attacking variation for the the Belgians to cope with.
Messi and company should make short work of this one and safely pass their way into the semi-finals.
Prediction: Argentina win
Costa Rica To Continue Fairytale?
It is unlikely that anyone reached into their pocket to bet on Costa Rica to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup, but this is where they now find themselves.
The small football nation are at odds of 133-20 to beat the Netherlands and, considering how they have put Uruguay and Italy to the sword, they look like tempting figures.
However, Louis van Gaal's team are 10-19 to win the game, and this figure is more representative of what will probably happen.
Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie have provided the quality up front that Van Gaal has needed to deploy his 3-5-2 system, which has been so effective in the competition. If the two world-class attackers continue their form, they should see their side over the line.
But if Costa Rica can dig deep, they do possess the necessary quality on the break and accuracy from the flanks to cause yet another shock. They have relished the role of underdog against the bigger sides and only looked vulnerable when more was expected of them against Greece.
Prediction: The Netherlands win
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