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World Cup 2014: TV Schedule, Live Stream and Predictions for Day 23

FILE - In this June 28, 2014, file photo, Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Never before has the star-crossed nation made the quarterfinals. There is even waxing poetic about World Cup unity accelerating the pace of 18-month-old peace talks to end a half-century of conflict that has claimed some 220,000 lives. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press
Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2014

Eight teams remain in contention for the 2014 World Cup, and Friday's quarter-final fixtures feature four of the absolute favourites for the title in what could be two of the best matches we've seen yet.

Neymar and James Rodriguez will go head-to-head in a battle of attacking prowess, while European powerhouses France and Germany will put their overall quality and depth to the test in one of international football's best rivalries.

There are no easy matches remaining at this stage of the competition—you either win or you go home—and each and every one of these teams will have its eyes set on a date at the Maracana Stadium on July 13.

Here's the full schedule for Friday's action, including TV coverage and live stream info, as well as predictions for the first two quarter-final matches of the 2014 World Cup.

2014 World Cup Day 23 Schedule
Time (BST)Time (ET)MatchTV InfoLive Stream
5 p.m.12 p.m.France v GermanyBBC1/ESPN2BBC iPlayer/WatchESPN
9 p.m.4 p.m.Brazil v ColombiaITV/ESPNITV Player/WatchESPN
FIFA.com

 

France's Quality Out Wide Will Test Germany's Full-Backs

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - JUNE 30: Joseph Yobo of Nigeria (L) scores an own goal as goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and Antoine Griezmann of France look on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between France and Nigeria at Estadio Nacional on June
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Die Mannschaft came into the tournament as one of the heavy favourites for the title, and they showed their quality during the group stages and a round-of-16 win over a strong Algerian team, but questions surrounding their full-backs remain.

Like fellow quarter-finalists Belgium, Germany have elected to field natural centre-backs at the position, and their lack of pace and mobility was badly exposed against an athletic Algerian attack.

Philipp Lahm immediately improved the unit when he switched back to his natural position out wide to cover for the injured Shkodran Mustafi, and given France's prowess out wide, Joachim Low could elect to keep the Bayern Munich man on the back line for this match.

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 30:  Philipp Lahm of Germany acknowledges the crowd after defeating Algeria 2-1 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Germany and Algeria at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 30, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Mathieu Valbuena has been one of the top players during this World Cup so far, while Antoine Griezmann could enter Les Bleus' starting XI to take further advantage of the matchups on the wing.

The French might have come into the tournament flying under the radar, but no one is overlooking the team at this point. Via the Daily Telegraph's Henry Winter, stopper Hugo Lloris told the media he and his teammates are confident about their chances:

Per BBC Sport, Les Bleus' athleticism could shine even brighter in this match following the news the German team has been hit with a flu virus:

Unlike any of the opponents Germany have faced so far, France have the quality in the centre of the pitch to rival Die Mannschaft for possession of the ball. With Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi doing their thing in front of the defence, Les Bleus will have the opportunity to attack the Germans out wide early and often.

The Germans are close to unbeatable when they're at their best, but against France and their speed and quickness in the wide areas, they will be tested like never before.

 

Defence Will Decide Clash in Fortaleza

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  Diego Forlan of Uruguay and Mario Yepes of Colombia compete for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June 28, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Phot
Pool/Getty Images

It's very simple to turn the match between hosts Brazil and Colombia into a head-to-head battle between Neymar and James Rodriguez, two of the brightest young stars of the World Cup. Both teams like to play open, attacking football, and at their best, neither usually struggles for goal.

Juan Cuadrado, Jackson Martinez, Oscar, Hulk—the amount of attacking talent on the pitch will be truly remarkable on Friday. But people expecting a wide-open, all-out goal fest could be sorely mistaken.

The best way to describe Brazil's World Cup so far might be best done with one word: nervous. They haven't looked like the dominant force people were expecting, and with the weight of a nation on their shoulders, it's perhaps understandable Luiz Felipe Scolari has opted for a careful approach to every match so far.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  Thiago Silva of Brazil and Arturo Vidal of Chile go up for a header 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
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Colombia have never made it this far during a World Cup before, and they know exactly how deadly Brazil can be on the counter. For all of the attention Rodriguez has gotten from the press these last few weeks, the defence led by Mario Yepes has been quietly excellent.

BBC's Jonathan Overend agrees:

While neither team is going to come out with a defensive mindset, it'd be naive to think that both teams will just commit men forward and not worry about the repercussions. With so much speed on the pitch, conceding first could effectively be a death sentence.

"Cautious" will be the keyword in this match, and players like Yepes and Thiago Silva will play bigger roles in it than people may expect.

 

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