The pressure is now firmly on Barcelona superstars Neymar and Lionel Messi to lead their countries into the World Cup semi-finals, as Brazil and Argentina play Colombia and Belgium respectively in the last eight.
Germany will also be searching for a semi-final berth as they face off against a strong France side, while Costa Rica will be looking to pull off one of the greatest shocks in World Cup history by eliminating Netherlands.
The quarter-final matches take place on Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5 in Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Brasilia and Salvador.
Here are the latest odds for all four matches, via OddsShark.com, as well as the schedule for each game and some predictions:
|World Cup Quarter-Finals Betting Odds|
|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||193-50||1-2|
|Argentina v Belgium||29-25||69-25||23-10||3-1|
|Netherlands v Costa Rica||10-19||133-20||333-100||2-1|
|World Cup Quarter-Finals Schedule|
|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|
James Rodriguez To Score First
Despite all four games being shrouded with intrigue, it is the host nation Brazil's encounter with Colombia that will generate the most interest.
This is largely down to the involvement of two players who are proving that they are part of world football's next generation of superstars.
Neymar and James Rodriguez will have the spotlight firmly pointed in their direction on Friday night as football fans look to them to set the quarter-finals on fire.
And considering both players' form, there is some real value in their first goalscorer odds.
Oddschecker.com have the Brazilian magician at 4-1 to get the first goal of the game, while you can get odds as long as 9-1 on Rodriguez.
There is a betting trend that suggests everything Brazilian is favourite to come up trumps in the match, which makes the Colombian odds incredibly favourable.
James has already proven he is one of the top players at the tournament, and if you did not know him before the World Cup kicked off, you certainly do now.
At 9-1 he is irresistible to bet on, and even if Brazil do win the tie, Rodriguez getting the first goal is a very good choice for punters.
France and Germany a Sure Draw?
It was not that long ago that Germany looked like they would make their way to the semi-finals with consummate ease after their opening game destruction of Portugal, stamping all over Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup dreams in the process.
But since then, they have looked vulnerable against lesser opposition and lost some edge from their general form.
They now face a France side who look combat-ready and dangerous in attack.
The odds for this match to be a draw are currently at 23-10, which looks like it holds value. Any odds better than 2-1 for a couple of experienced international teams who will respect the laws of knockout football by first and foremost not losing the game is a good bet.
The odds for a win in normal time hold little value here, and the draw looks very likely over 90 minutes.
With Karim Benzema and Thomas Mueller in solid form, expect goals and drama, but the depth of both sides means they are very difficult to separate.
Lionel Messi to Lift the World Cup
With the entertainment value of the current World Cup so high it has been almost impossible to predict who will walk away with the famous gold trophy.
Assessing the outright winner odds, via Oddschecker.com, one team now appears to hold value over all others.
Argentina have fallen to third favourites overall and you can now back them at as long as 5-1.
With a slightly easier passage to the finals than Brazil or Germany, who sit above them in the betting, 5-1 looks very tempting at present.
Lionel Messi has shown flashes of his brilliance, but the feeling is that there is still so much to come from the Barcelona genius.
Belgium stand in the way of progression for the South Americans now, but if Messi performs to his normal standards, Vincent Kompany and his defence will find it impossible to stop him.
The 2014 World Cup could be the tournament where Messi finally proves that he is the greatest player in the history of football by lifting the trophy in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.
(All odds via OddsShark unless stated)
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