World Cup 2014: Fixtures, Match Odds, Predictions, Updated Bracket for Day 23

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2014

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 28: (L-R) Thiago Silva, Luiz Gustavo, Ramires, Dani Alves, Jo, Marcelo, Hulk, Willian and Neymar of Brazil celebrate after defeating Chile in a penalty shootout during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile at Estadio Mineirao on June 28, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Two huge quarter-final games take place on Friday, as Brazil play Colombia and France take on Germany.

A flurry of bets will be placed by football fans worldwide as they look to predict which sides will progress to the semi-finals.

The knockout stages of any World Cup are normally tight affairs, as we witnessed in the round of 16, but this tournament has been full of drama, if not surprises. 

However, with two of the pre-tournament favourites— Brazil and Germany—struggling for form, those possible shocks may be about to materialise on day 23 of the tournament.

Bleacher Report

Here are Friday's fixtures and their current betting odds, via, as well as predictions for both matches:

World Cup Day 23: Fixtures, Match Odds And Predictions
MatchOdds Home WinOdds Away WinOdds DrawPredicted Score
France v Germany54-2537-2521-102-2 (France win on pens)
Brazil v Colombia5-6193-50271-1001-2

France To Eliminate Germany

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 16: Sami Khedira (L) and Benedikt Hoewedes of Germany celebrate during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal at Arena Fonte Nova on June 16, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Francois Xavier M
Pool/Getty Images

The Germans started their campaign in some style as they faced off against Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portuguese team-mates. Thomas Mueller banged in a hat-trick as his side dismantled CR7 and company, walking away with a 4-0 victory in the bag.

But since then Germany have been in slight decline, and this was perfectly on show in the round of 16 as they struggled against an inferior Algerian side. The Africans took the Europeans deep into extra time before a Mesut Ozil goal killed the game off.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 25:  Oswaldo Minda of Ecuador challenges Karim Benzema of France during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group E match between Ecuador and France at Maracana on June 25, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Now they face a French team who are on form and in the ascendancy. Didier Deschamps has his team in great shape and at betting odds of 54-25, there appears to be some value in their numbers.

However, the real value in 90 minutes lies with the draw at 21-10. It will be difficult to separate these two great sides and extra time is a distinct possibility in the game.

Germany are, of course, specialists when it comes to penalty shootouts as we have seen countless times over the years.

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 16:  Thomas Mueller of Germany shoots and scores his team's first goal on a penalty kick past Rui Patricio of Portugal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal at Arena Fonte Nova on June 16,
Pool/Getty Images

However, they have to lose one purely by the laws of probability soon and with a slip in their recent performance, this could be the World Cup where they crash out via this method.

Many felt the European nations would suffer in the Brazilian heat, but that has not been true of France—or Germany, initially. The Daily Telegraph's Paul Hayward highlighted this as he tweeted:

France's form has been somewhat of a surprise, but this now could be a significant renaissance in their football standing if they drive forward to the semi-finals.

They have looked efficient and deadly in the last third of the pitch, and now they need to make sure their defence—which does not have the same quality as their attack—stands firm on Friday and sees the job through.

Colombia To End The Romance Of Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  James Rodriguez of Colombia celebrates scoring his team's second goal and his second of the game with teammates during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June 28,
Pool/Getty Images

Neutrals across the globe are willing Brazil to reach the final and make it a romantic occasion in Rio De Janeiro in front of the Maracana crowd.

But to get there, Brazil must perform—and perform well.

That is something we are truly yet to see, and now they face a Colombian side who are motivated to dispose of the Selecao on their own soil.

Colombia currently are at the frankly crazy odds of 193-50 and are surely worth a bet by any punter. Form does not dictate the long price, and on the day of the match it will definitely fall as the intelligent money is placed.

Early bets will certainly get the best value on Friday. Colombia are on a hot streak at the moment, and they will not be intimidated by Neymar and company.

In James Rodriguez they have a player who sits on the edge of greatness as he treads the boards that were meant for Radamel Falcao.

James has the depth of quality in his all-round game to cause David Luiz nightmares in the Brazil defence. The big defender might be valued as one of the world's best, but he has a mistake lurking in his game in almost every match he plays in.

Colombia will end the Brazilian dream of lifting the World Cup at the Maracana on Friday, positioning themselves as potential winners with their wonderful attack and trademark dancing celebrations. 


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