World Cup 2014 Knockout Stage Predictions

Here are my group stage picks. After that, the real fun begins. Here’s how I see it shaking out.

Round of 16:
Brazil 3-2 Chile
Ivory Coast 1(4)-1(3) Italy
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-1 France
USA 2-0 South Korea
Spain 2-0 Croatia
England 1-0 Colombia (a.e.t.)
Argentina 3-0 Ecuador
Belgium 4-3 Germany (a.e.t.)

Quarterfinals:
Brazil 2-0 Ivory Coast
United States 2(4)-2(2) Bosnia and Herzegovina
Spain 2-0 England
Argentina 2-1 Belgium

Semifinals:
Brazil 2-0 USA
Argentina 2-1 Spain

3rd Place:
Spain 2-0 USA

Finals:
Argentina 3-2 Brazil

A very small bit of actual analysis. There’s almost no chance USA wins the group, but whatever, I’m picking them anyway because “I believe that we will win.” Should that happen, though, they have a nice road to the quarterfinals as they’ll likely play Russia or South Korea in the Round of 16. From there, they would get the winner of the France/Ecuador/Switzerland/Honduras group or the runner up in the Argentina/Bosnia/Nigeria/Iran group. We can rule out Argentina from that octet, and the USA can beat any of the other seven. I have them up against Bosnia and Herzegovina, prevailing in penalties. Obviously this is all outrageous and depends on the US winning the group. A big long shot. But I don’t care. GO USA!

I like Argentina to win it all. Messi, plus a better overall team in 2014 than 2010, as well as continental advantage until the final (getting them past Spain in the semifinals). A match-up against Brazil would be epic. The disaster of 1950 repeats itself for Brazil, albeit against a different South American team. Argentina lifts the trophy.

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