France v Germany
It will be the clash of great minds as first of all Germany square off against Fellow Europeans, France and later Hosts Brazil try out for their sixth tittle when they face Columbia in the two FIFA World Cup quarter final clashes on Friday.
In the first encounter, Joachim Low the Germany coach will lock horns with France’s Didier Deschamps in what will no doubt be a tough encounter. The consistence of Germany will be tested here as they attempt to become the first nation to reach four consecutive World Cup semi-finals. This is the fourth meeting between the two countries on the world’s biggest stage, with Germany winning the 1982 and 1986 encounters after France had triumphed in 1958. Neither of the two teams have lost a single match at the current World Cup in Brazil, although the Germans came close to being beaten by Ghana in a 2-2 draw during the group stages, while the French were held to a goalless stalemate by Ecuador. Joachim Low’s side progressed to the quarter-finals after a narrow 2-1 win over Algeria in the second round after extra time. Their European neighbours beat Nigeria 2-1 in regulation time to advance to the quarter finals.
Germany will be highly likely to use Borussia Dortmund defender again after he was ruled out of the Dessert Warriors match because of the flue while his replacement in that match, Mats Hummels will not be playing in Friday’s match and any other one for that matter since he injured his hamstring in the second round match. It is possible that Didier Deschamps of France may opt to start with Antoine Griezmann as a striker after the Real Sociedad player was impressive when he came in as a substitute for Olivier Giroud in the Nigeria match. While Mamadou Sakho has shaken off a hamstring problem, Didier Deschamps will most likely start with Laurent Koscielny in the heart of defence after he displayed a clinical performance last time around at the Maracana.
Brazil v Colombia
The other quarter final match to be played on Friday will pit host Brazil and Colombia. The hosts are obviously bruised after their round of sixteen match against Chile whom they finally dispatched of courtesy of a nerve-wrecking penalty shoot out. Columbia, on the other hand, maintained their clinical approach to the game in this tournament after their 2-0 cruise over hapless Uruguay who were without inspirational striker Luis Suarez after another biting incident. Brazil will hope frantically that the many histories they have with Columbia will repeat themselves as they have only ever lost once against Columbia in competitive soccer.
Since mid-field maestro, Luis Gustavo has to serve a one match suspension, Scolari will be forced to make changes in that department. Despite picking up a knee and thigh injury, Neymar is expected to start still, the same going for out of form, Fred.
If any one person can be accused of engineering the progress that Columbia has shown, it will most likely be James Rodriguez who tops the goal scoring charts with five goals from four matches. Colombia boss Jose Pekerman has no head aches except on how to come up with the best team as all his players are 100% match fit.