With the eight ties setup for the second round at the 2014 World Cup, the South American nations have looked the most impressive in reaching the last 16.
Brazil, Colombia and Argentina all won their groups, collectively picking up 25 of a possible 27 points. Chile came through their group which included Netherlands and Spain, dropping only 3 points. And Uruguay managed to overturn their opening game defeat to qualify with 6 points also.
The positions in the groups do however mean that Brazil face Chile and Colombia face Uruguay with the right to meet in the quarter-finals. Thus, one of them will make it to the semi-finals, but only one.
Argentina are the other side of the draw and will be South America’s only representation as Ecuador failed to make it past the group stages. Lionel Messi and co are the bookmakers’ favourites to reach the final with only the Netherlands and Belgium expected to be able to prevent them.
I like favourites Argentina and Colombia to reach the quarter-finals from their second round matches against Switzerland and Uruguay respectively.
Argentina and Colombia to qualify double is 1.77
European sides may not have been the most impressive in the first four groups – Croatia, Spain, Italy and England all bowing out, seeing only Greece and France progress.
France and Switzerland did join the second round from Group E, whilst Belgium picked up 9 points and Germany 7 to make Europe the most-represented continent in the second round. Of course, Europe also had the most entrants in the tournament.
Of the eight matches in the second round, all six European sides have avoided each other. Four of these are the bookmakers’ favourites to progress from the qualification matches.
Germany are the shortest at 1.12 when the face Algeria, whilst France are 1.20 to progress from their tie with Nigeria, Belgium 1.30 to see off Germany and the Netherlands are 1.50 to get past Mexico.
Greece are 2.00 to overcome Costa Rica who have been the biggest surprise at Brazil 2014 so far, whilst Switzerland are long shots at 4.20 to see off Argentina.
I am confident in the four European favourites to go through.
Netherlands France, Germany, Belgium accumulator is 2.62
If Chile did not burn themselves out in defeat to the Netherlands and their heads haven’t fallen there’s no reason why they can’t bounce back and cause a big upset in eliminating a Brazil side who have underperformed to this point.
Chile are 3.30 to eliminate Brazil
Costa Rica and Greece is a flip of the coin. The Central Americans started impressively against Uruguay and Italy, with the former citing poor preparation and the latter having a poor World Cup.
Greece’s tactics outwitted Ivory Coast in their final group game, after being stuffed by Colombia and drawing 0-0 with Japan. However, in a tactical battle I think there’s value in going for the underdog.
Greece are 2.00 to eliminate Costa Rica
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