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Saturday, July 01, 2006

 

World Cup quarter final predictions, part 2


I can only apologise for not completing my second set of predictions. For the record, I would have gone for an England win.

As the last quarter final still has a long way to go, I'll make a quick prediction:

Brazil Vs France

The last two World Cup winners come together in what should be an entertaining match. Brazil are looking far from the imperious side we expected and Ronaldinho has had an extremely quiet tournament thus far. France were lucky to get through their group after some very poor performances and questions were asked about the decision to include so many of the older players in the squad. They took Spain apart though with Viera and Zidane rolling back the years and Ribery living up to his billing as the most exciting young French player for years. As is the usual case, the battle will fought in midfield, how will the experienced old guard of France cope with the guile and invention of Brazil's midfield? Henry has also yet to shine in the tournament - arguably he is yet to shine in international football full stop and like his Champions League Final rival, Ronaldinho, he has a point to prove and a reputation to live up to. Roberto Carlos and Cafu, along with Zidane, Thuram and Barthez are quite possibly playing their last tournament, they will want to go out in style.

I see the game being a close fought battle but one eventually won by Brazil, avenging that defeat in the final eight years ago. They haven't really been tested at the back and Henry will certainly do that but Brazil should have too much quality to lose this.

Verdict: Brazil win.

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