The group stage is almost over and the wheat has already separate from the chaff, as the first round of 16 matches are certain. While Spain and England, two previous world cup winners, have to return back home once the group stage is over, there are two teams that qualified for the second stage of the tournament that hardly anyone had on their list – Chile and Costa Rica. This and other surprises like the non-expected strong performance of the French team are mirrored by the odds of the WC 2014 Winner bet, where Rivalo’s bookmarkers find Brazil ahead with an odd of 4.00 followed by Argentina and Germany, which offer an odd of 5.00 and France with 8.50.
Fans of the world cup haven’t seen so many goals at the group stage of a world cup in a long time and the whole world of football and we here at Rivalo are eagerly looking forward to more exciting matches and goals plus emotional moments in Brazil. Further, we would like to discuss the upcoming matches of the second stage of the world cup 2014 in greater detail….
1.) Brazil vs. Chile, June 28 in Belo Horizonte
The first match of the knockout stage will be a pure South-American matter between the host Brazil and Chile at the Estadio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte. The two teams have already encountered each other at the 2010 world cup, where the Seleção clearly won 3:0. The Chileans are eager to return the favor this year and based on the performance shown at the group stage, there is a legitimate chance that the team kicks out the Brazilian team at this year’s world cup.
While the Brazilian team has shown rather mixed performances during the first two matches, they appear to have finally found they way in the tournament and convinced the fans with a 4:1 win against Cameroon in the last group stage game and will do everything possible to make the dream of the whole Brazilian nation called Hexa come true. Based on the statistics, the almost 200 million Brazilian fans don’t have to be worried about the upcoming game as the Seleção have won nine out of eleven games against Chile and the remaining two times were draws.
The bookmakers of Rivalo appear to trust this statistic, as the victory of the Brazilian team offers an odd of 1.65, followed by 4.00 for a draw and attractive odd of 5.20 for the win of the Chilean team. One thing is clear: one South-American team will definitely be kicked-out of the tournament this upcoming Saturday. The only question is whether it will be the secret favorite Chile or the host Brazil? The latter would definitely cause an earthquake in the world of football.
2.) Columbia vs. Uruguay, June 28 in Rio de Janeiro
The second South-American battle on Saturday will be between Columbia and Uruguay in Maracanã. While the Cafeteros won their group with aplomb by winning all three group stage matches, the Celeste only saved their ticket for the second stage of the tournament during the last minutes of their third group match.
For the Columbian team this advancement to the round of sixteen is the first since 1990. The Urus, who have been showing boosting performances in the course of the group stage and won against the big players of Italy and England, are eager to repeat their successful advancement to the semifinal at the last world cup this year in Brazil. The chances, for this to happen, however, could be better. Firstly the squad of Uruguay is a little bit getting on in years and secondly, the team probably has to continue this tournament without their top-striker Lui Suárez, who has caused the first scandal of the world cup due to his anew bite attack. The FIFA usually doesn’t know any mercy in such incidents….
The team of Columbia, which is coached by ex-champion José Pekerman, has been showing a convincing and refreshing offensive play, even without their top-striker Radamel Falcao. The team further has a good mix of young and experienced players and has been perfectly adjusted in tactical terms during the group games.
The bookmarkers at Rivalo have apparently considered the just mentioned points at the determination of the odds for the game between Columbia and Uruguay. The win of the Columbian team offers an odd of 2.10, a draw (after 90 minutes) offers an odd of 3.40 and a win for Uruguay offers an odd of 3.70. Co-lumbia and Uruguay – one South-American team will definitely advance to the quarterfinal, the other team including their 10.000 followers, who have been heating up the atmosphere in the stadium, has to pack their things and drive back home.
3.) Netherlands vs. Mexico, June 29 in Fortaleza
The second match in the knockout phase will be between the two teams that have shown the most convincing performances during the group stage matches, the Netherlands and Mexico. The Dutch team has won their group without any loss of points although they had to face strong opponents like Spain and Chile. The Mexican team, on the other hand, was able to achieve a draw against the host squad of Brazil and are only placed second in their group because of the worse goal difference.
The Oranjes made it to the final at the last world cup and as everyone knows lost against Spain. The team around Robben and van Persie already returned the favour in their first group match and won 5:1 against the titleholder and definitely played their part in the early elimination of the Spanish team at this world cup.
Therefore, Louis van Gaal’s team can only have one goal at this year’s world cup: the anew move into the final.
The Mexican team obviously wants to stay in the tournament as long as possible, however, has to conquer the round of 16 first. While the El Tri made it into the second stage of the last five world cups, they never made it any further than this. Last time they were eliminated by Argentina, who is a big favourite of this year’s title as well.
Accordingly, with an odd of 2.10, the bookmakers at Rivalo see the Netherlands as the favourite to move forward into the quarterfinal. If the game ends in a draw, Rivalo offers an odd of 3.40 and a win of Mexico offers an odd of 3.60. Who has to pack their bags on Sunday – Elftal or El Tri?
4.) Costa Rica vs. Greece, June 29 in Recife
The most surprising match in the second stage of the tournament will take place on Sunday between Costa Rica and Greece in the Arena Pernambuco. Only a limited number of experts had these two teams on their list and whoever has placed their bets on the advancement of these two teams at Rivalo, could allow himself a nice holiday after the world cup now.
While the advancement of the Greek team, who was part of a rather balanced group, has per se not been a huge blow off, the move into the second stage of Cost Rica could be categorized as one. The team of Cost Rica has after all pre-vailed itself against the previous world champions Italy, England and Uruguay and is even the winner of the so-called group-of-death without any lost game.
The Greeks, on the other hand, started into the tournament with a 0:3 defeat against Columbia, however, gradually increased their performance in the two subsequent games. They first achieved a draw with only ten players – as their captain Katsouranis had to leave the game due to a second-bookable offence in the first half – against Japan and then saved their ticket in the heart-stopping finish – Samaras scored a penalty kick in minute 93 – against Cote d’Ivoire. This is the first time ever that the Greek team, which is coached by the Portuguese Fernando Santos, advances to the round of sixteen at a world cup. The team of Costa Rica has already made this step once in 1990.
The bookmakers at Rivalo do not really see any favourite in this duel. While the Greeks are clearly an experienced team and well known for their good defensive play, the Ticos, on the other hand, showed convincing performances due to their controlled offensive play and will definitely handle the climate conditions more easily.
The odds at Rivalo for this round of sixteen match between Costa Rica and Greece are as follows: Win of Costa Rica 2.60, Draw 3.10 and win of Greece 2.90.
Ticos or the Blue-Whites – one of the surprising teams will advance to the quar-terfinal and has to face the winner of the match between the Netherlands and Mexico.
5.) France vs. Nigeria, June 30 in Brasilia
The next round of sixteen match will be an European-African battle, as France and Nigeria will face each other on Monday in Brasilia.
Both teams can be described as an absolute positive surprise at this year’s world cup. Les Bleus came out on top of group E and inspired the fans with refreshing offensive play and several goals scored in the first two rounds of the group stage. The Super Eagles, on the other hand, started with a rather half-hearted game against the team from Iran, however, could assert themselves, due to a wrong decision made by the referee, in the match against the favoured Bosnians. Moreover, they showed a strong performance in their last game against the favourite Argentina.
This match of the world cup is the first match in the second stage since 2006 for the French team and the third after 1994 and 1998 for the Nigerian team. While both teams were present at the last world cup, none of them made it to the round of sixteen back then. Especially the Equipe Tricolore failed miserably and many French players created a scandal at the WC 2010 due to their mutiny against the former coach Raymond Domenech.
Consequently, the French team is seeking reparation in Brazil, which they managed to do impressively so far. The Nigerians, on the other hand, want to further bring their fellow countrymen, who are ridden by political confusion and terror, joy and distract the inhabitants a few more days from the troubles of their country.
The statistic sees the Frenchmen ahead in this battle, as the European teams were all able to win against their African counterparts during the knock-out stage at previous world cups up to this point. This is also reflected in the odds for this match between France and Nigeria. The win of the French team offers an odd of 1.50, a draw offers 4.10 and the victory of Nigeria offers an odd of 7.00.
Will the European favourite really be the winner of this match or will there again be an African team in the quarter final after Ghana in 2010?
6.) Germany vs. Algeria, June 30 in Porto Alegre
The second European-African duel will be between the outsider Algeria and the co-favourite Germany at the Estádio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre. While almost all experts expected the team of Jogi Löw to advance to the round of sixteen, the Algerian team is the second huge surprise, next to Costa Rica, in the second stage of this year’s WC. The team from Algeria, coached by Vahid Halilhodžić, however, has definitely earned their place in this year’s round of sixteen as they showed a disciplined performance in the offense as well as defence.
First they lost against the winner of group H Belgium due to two last minute goals, however, succeeded with their offensive play against South-Korea 4:2 in the subsequent game. In their last match they were very dedicated and passionate and achieved a draw against the favoured Russian squad and made the move into the round of sixteen for the first time in history.
The Germans, on the other hand, started great into this tournament as they won 4:0 against Portugal. In the second match against Ghana the squad started to totter, however, they didn’t fall. Lastly, they won 1:0 against the USA without showing any brilliance in terms of football, but this result made both of the teams advance to the second stage.
The match between Germany and Algeria is only their third encounter, after they faced each other in 1964 and 1982. Both games, who would have thought, were won by Algeria, with 2:0 and 2:1. The 2:1 victory at the WC 1982 was followed by the disgrace of Gijon, which forced the Algerians to return back home. The Algerian team has already announced that they want to return the favour this year in Porto Alegre….
Bookmarks at Rivalo are not the only ones, who doubt this to happen. The odds for this match offer an odd of 1.30 for the victory of Germany, 5.20 for a draw and 11.00 for the win of Algeria.
It seems rather certain that the Germans will make the step into the quarterfinal or are the Algerian really able to take revenge for the disgrace of 1982?
7.) Argentina vs. Switzerland, July 1 in São Paulo
The match between Argentina and Switzerland in São Paulo will be the only European-South American battle in the second stage of this year’s world cup.
While the Gauchos have won all three group stage matches without showing any brilliance, the Nati qualified for the second stage without showing any sovereignty. While the Swiss team started into the tournament with a flattering 2:1 win against Ecuador with a last-minute goal, they lost the second match against France horrendously 2:5 and only saved their ticket for the round of sixteen in the last match against Honduras.
Both teams, especially the Argentinean squad including the terrifying quartet Agüero, Higuain, di Maria and superstar Lionel Messi, have a strong offense, however, also several weaknesses in the defense.
Furthermore it has to be pointed out that the Albiceleste are highly dependent on Messi, who did not really show a striking performance during the group stage, however, scored four out of six goals of the Argentinean team.
The advancement of the Swiss team to the second stage of this year’s world cup can be categorized as a success for the team as they failed already in the group stage in 2010. The Argentinean team, which has been supported by thousands of fans from their home country, however, sees the round of sixteen only as an intermediate stop as on their way to the title of the world championship. Especially after the long trophy-drought – the Argentinean squads never made it further as to the quarterfinal since their lost final in 1990 – the goal can only be the title.
The bookmakers of Rivalo appear to support this estimation, as the odds for this round of sixteen match between Argentina and Switzerland see Messi and Co. ahead. The win of the Argentinean team offers an odd of 1.45, a draw offers 4.50 and the victory of Switzerland offers a rather attractive odd of 7.00.
Although the Argentinean team is clearly seen as the favourite, the Swiss team will do everything possible to advance to the quarterfinal for the second time in history after 1954.
Second quarterfinal for the Swiss or the ongoing dream of the Argentinean team of their third world champion title? The answer will bring the match on Tuesday in the largest Brazilian city….
8.) Belgium vs. USA, July 1 in Salvador
The last round of sixteen match in Brazil will be played on Tuesday in the Arena Fonta Nova in Salvador between Belgium and the USA.
While the advancement of the secrete favourite Belgium, who were part of an rather easy group, was expected, the move into the round of sixteen of the US-boys, coached by the German Jürgen Klinsmann, is rather surprising, especially due to the fact that their group G had tough opponents in it. Although the Red Devils, coached by Marc Wilmots, won all three of their group stages games, they could not completely convince the fans with their performance during the group stage – all goals were scored in the last 20 minutes. Nevertheless, it has to be pointed out that they are really efficient and this should not be underestimated as efficiency has decided games many times before.
The US-Americans, on the other hand, showed will, passion and readiness for action, although they are rather limited in football terms. Klinsmann, who is know for being a great motivator, is definitely one reason for the success of his team, which made it to the round of sixteen due to a better goal difference.
For the Belgium team this round of sixteen match is the first since 2002, where they lost against the later world champion Brazil. The USA made it to the second stage at all previous world cups, however, never made it any further expect for 2002, where they later lost against Germany. The Belgian squad played their last quarterfinal in 1986 and ultimately ranked 4th in Mexico.
According to the bookmakers at Rivalo, the Red Devils can raise their hopes to advance to the quarterfinal as the odds for this match are as follows: Win Belgium 1.80, a draw offers an odd of 3.60 and the victory of the USA offers an odd of 4.60.
Although the Belgium team is seen as the favourite, the highly motivated US-Boys will fight for their second move into the quarterfinal in history until the very last second…