Colombia vs. Uruguay Preview

This is a tasty match between two South American heavyweights in Rio de Janeiro. Expectations for Colombia lowered before the tournament when star striker Radamel Falcao was ruled out with an injury. However, Colombia didn’t skip a beat with victories over Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan. Not the best opponents but they have put the world on notice with their stylish goals and celebrations. Uruguay had a roller coaster group stage. They were shocked by Costa Rica 3-1 in the first match but followed that up with wins over England and Italy. However, striker Luis Suarez is banned for the rest of the World Cup after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.

Colombia has had many contributors to their outstanding play. Veteran defender Mario Yepes has held up well and led the back line. Midfielder Juan Cuadrado has three assists this tournament. The breakout player on Colombia and maybe this whole World Cup is James Rodriguez. The 22-year-old has three goals and two assists. Uruguay will clearly miss Suarez for this match. Edison Cavani is a great striker but benefits from playing with Suarez. Diego Forlan could play a role in this match but he struggled against Costa Rica, and is past his best playing days. The center back partnership of Diego Lugano and 19-year-old Jose Maria Gimenez were strong against England and Italy. A lot will be expected from the two Atletico Madrid defenders against Colombia.

Prediction: Colombia 2, Uruguay 0

Uruguay will miss Suarez and I don’t see them rallying together after his hefty ban.

Photo by Calcio Streaming

Brazil vs. Chile Preview

The round of 16 starts with host country Brazil playing Chile in Belo Horizonte. The two teams met in this round at the 2010 World Cup and Brazil prevailed. Brazil didn’t play their best soccer in Group A. They defeated Croatia and Cameroon but were held to a draw against a courageous Mexico side. Chile defeated Australia and Spain to secure a spot in this round. They lost to the Netherlands with a chance to win the group.

Neymar has met expectations and has shined this tournament with four goals. He needs his teammates like Fred, Hulk and Oscar to pick up their play. Chile poses a tricky test for Brazil. Center back Gary Medal and midfielder Marcelo Diaz have quietly been key to Chile’s defending. Arturo Vidal rested against the Netherlands because of an injury that almost jeopardized his World Cup. Vidal should be able to test the Brazil back line with strikers Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas.

Prediction: Brazil 2, Chile 1; after extra time

I think this is a close match that will require 120 minutes. Neymar will continue his dominance with the game winning goal.

Photo by Calcio Streaming