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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

World Cup Diary - Day Twenty

So the quarter final line ups are now decided. France stunned Spain who again made an earlier than anticipated exit losing 3-1. France will face Brazil who beat Ghana 3-0, though Ghana deserved something from the game. They did however look very vulnerable at the back, something Brazil exploited and could have scored more but for some dodgy offside calls.

The Ukraine won 3-0 on penalties after their bore fest against the Swiss finished goalless. They meet Italy who beat Australia with a controversial penalty call in stoppage time. Perhaps if the Aussies had put more pressure on the Italians after Matterazi’s sending off the result would have been different.

So my predictions going forward:

Germany and Argentina to be tied after 90mins, I can see this one going to penalties. Despite Argentina’s impressive form I think Germany could pull off a win here with home advantage.

Italy should beat the Ukraine, probably in the 90mins; they certainly have the talent to do so.

England V Portugal could go either way, I certainly think they will need at least extra time to decide this. Here England’s lack of forwards could prove costly though if it does go to penalties with Rooney, Beckham, Gerrard and Lampard in the side they have the means to progress. With Portugal missing the influential Deco they will hope Ronaldo is fit for the game to provide support to Figo, who is lucky to be playing after his head butt in the last 16. While I pray England will win, if they don’t up their play I feel Portugal will be in the semis.

France impressed against Spain, Brazil however are on another level. If the Brazilians hit form they should cruise past France particularly as Ronaldo is starting to find the target at the same time the supporting cast are chipping in with goals.

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