Colombia will knock out hosts Brazil. Glenn Hoddle
BRAZIL vs COLOMBIA
In what has turned out to be a fabulous tournament, my pick of the bunch of the quarter-final ties is this one. It has all the makings of a titanic battle.
The whole atmosphere here in Rio has changed with Brazil going through, with the home nation’s fans getting behind the team after so much aggro before the tournament started. It has taken a while but at last I can feel the World Cup fever - it’s growing and building up to what I had expected before I arrived – a few weeks ago all I saw was political protests and anti-World Cup feelings.
Brazil has now gone nuts - pardon the pun - and I am pleased for them, but they have not been impressive or convincing by any stretch!
The pressure must be unbearable for Phil Scolari’s team, because not only do they have to win this tournament, they have to win it in a certain way.
But it’s tough for them, because although they appear to have a good defensive record, teams have been able to put Brazil on the back foot and I feel their defence will ultimately prove to be their Achilles Heel.
In Dani Alves, Marcello and David Luiz they have three out of their four defenders who don’t defend! Or simply can’t defend!
Only Thiago Silva is a dedicated defender and he defends by instinct. Eventually they are going to be found out.
Maybe it will be Colombia who will do the finding out?
Big Phil Scolari has won the World Cup before and the whole nation needs him to deliver for the first time on home soil, but it’s a big ask, the pressures couldn’t possibly be more intense, and the team continue to rely on Neymar.
I like the way Colombia’s coach Jose Pekerman has galvanised the team even in the absence of their injured talisman, Radamel Falcao. But young James Rodriguez has stepped up to the plate and he is the discovery of this tournament, with the goal of the tournament so far. Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez likened him to Diego Maradona. Steady!!!
Colombia are a really, really good team, wanting to play the game in the right way, with a lovely balance between attack and defence.
PREDICTION: Colombia to qualify