World Cup Quarter-Finals: Four Quick Predictions

Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IIJuly 1, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 27:  Diego Maradona head coach of Argentina shouts instructions to his players during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Argentina and Mexico at Soccer City Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The World Cup quarter-finals take place on Friday and Saturday, and to say the least, we're pretty excited.

Even in England, where our football team sucks and frankly, we're thinking about tennis, we're pretty excited. Can you imagine how London would have been had the English team actually turned up?

Well, the Germans and Argentinians have begun some "mouth to mouth" in recent days—even if Brazil, Holland, Paraguay, Spain, Uruguay, and Ghana have been pretty damned quiet (if you don't include Ghana's awesome party !).



Holland vs Brazil (Friday)

These two always seem to throw up good games when they play each other, and we're praying that both teams' unimpressive starts (I'm sorry, but I'm still left wanting more from both sides, despite their total 7-1-0 record thus far in South Africa) won't translate into a tepid game in Port Elizabeth. With both teams boasting stars with excellent goalscoring potential, this should be fun.

We can only pray that one team (Brazil! Ahem! Ahem!) doesn't fall around crying for 90 minutes, as they have done for the last two games. It's unsporting. Hey Kaka: How does Jesus feel about you doing that?

PREDICTION: Taking samba over orange crush: Brazil 2, Holland 1 (after extra-time)


Ghana vs Uruguay (Friday)

With the whole of Africa—and a lot of the world—seemingly wanting to be Ghanaian on Friday night, Uruguay will once again be tasked with shutting up some vuvuzelas and taking their team back to the semi-finals for the first time since 1970.

After great finishing on Saturday by Luis Suarez put an end to South Korea's quarter-final hopes, Uruguay are bursting with enthusiasm going into their clash with Ghana. It's the first time both sides have met—and after Ghana's dramatic victory over the USA, we'll be hoping for some fireworks.

Although the heart would love to see Ghana go through, we're not sure the Ghanaian defence—who were stretched by Jozy Altidore and a number of US attacks during the second round battle—will be able to cope with Diego Forlan and Suarez.

But who wants to bet against Ghana?

PREDICTION: Uruguay on penalties after an absorbing 2-2 draw.


Argentina vs Germany (Saturday)

Diego Maradona's German accent was absolutely fantastic, and matched with Philipp Lahm's comments about wanting to beat a "proper team," you know that both sides aren't going to be pulling out tackles.

On paper, the favourites are Argentina. They've played a truly beautiful game all tournament long, gaining legions of fans because of their style of football. Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi are going to frighten the hell out of a —let's be honest—poor German defence, and we can only think that Lahm will regret his words.

Having said that, Germany's always good when no one thinks they will perform—as no one did before these finals. But now, Germany expects, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, their talented midfielder/winger, will be seen as the player to rip apart what is still an incredibly cagey Argentinian back four.

PREDICTION: A replay of 1986: Argentina 3, Germany 2


Paraguay vs Spain (Saturday)

The thought of Paraguay in another round of World Cup football didn't exactly put this writer in a happy place. They showed a lack of invention, passing ability, and shooting ability against Japan, and their fans will be praying for a better performance against the Spanish, who haven't yet answered the big question: Why in the hell are these guys World Cup favourites?

If we're honest, Spain has played worse than Germany, Argentina, and Brazil up to now, but they've ridden their luck, and no one can argue with the fact that they are worthy quarter-finalists. But Spain—as it has all of its life—will be wanting more, and there's is a side which boasts some of the best players in football (including Barcelona's new striker David Villa and midfielders Xavi and Iniesta). They will also be praying that Fernando Torres can hit a cow's behind with a banjo, because he hasn't been able to up to now!

PREDICTION: Paraguay bulldozed. Spain 3, Paraguay 0