After the group stages are finished and two teams from each group advance comes the do-or-die games.
Whether the teams advance as a number one seed or a number two seed I believe will be very important to how far they go in the tournament.
I have previously written on which teams I believe will advance out of the group stages, but let’s recap:
Group A- Mexico, Uruguay (No France! Overall, I think their coaching is going to hurt them).
Group B- Argentina, Nigeria.
Group C- England, United States (I was tempted to put Slovenia here, but I have to support my country).
Group D- Germany, Serbia.
Group E- Netherlands, Cameroon.
Group F- Italy, Paraguay.
Group G- Brazil, Portugal.
Group H- Spain, Chile.
As for the second round, I only have two second seeded teams advancing- Nigeria and The United States. Yes, this means we would have to beat Germany who would be the heavy favorite. This is a stretch, I realize. So pick it the other way around, if you’d like.
Nigeria will have the entire African continent behind them. Advantage? Chile is probably one of my favorite little countries that have a strong team this year. They are one to look out for, but there’s no way that they can beat Brazil. My bracket may look a little upset-heavy, but it breaks down like this:
Nigeria over Mexico.
Argentina over Uruguay.
England over Serbia.
United States over Germany.
Netherlands over Paraguay.
Italy over Cameroon.
Brazil over Chile.
Spain over Portugal.
My quarterfinals are not as surprising, given who I have left. England and Argentina have it easy once they get here and the Italians will show people that they are somewhat overrated. The only question would be whether or not Brazil could get kicked off their high horse.
England over Nigeria
Argentina over United States
Brazil over Netherlands
Spain over Italy
The routes each team took to the semifinals will have an impact on the outcomes. England won’t have played an extremely fast-paced or challenging game yet where as Brazil will have.
Brazil over England.
Spain over Argentina.
This might not seem original. I have the Finals being between FIFA’s number one and number two ranked teams. Xavi may be the difference in the game at midfield.
Spain over Brazil.
Argentina will beat England for third place. I don’t see it being that great of a game since both of these teams have a goal of making it to the Finals. They will be discouraged, but I see Messi pulling it out for his team.
Those are my fantasy picks. Obviously one little discrepancy can change a whole bracket! I’m a sucker for the underdogs in the beginning, but I feel they’re warranted.