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World Cup: Quarterfinals Thread, Day 1

Day 1 of the quarterfinals -- today it's two border wars. We know that one European and one South American side will go through. Which ones are open questions.

La Roca de Villarreal?
La Roca de Villarreal?

Here's today's preview/match thread/discussion post on Brazil 2014. Enjoy the matches!

12 noon ET:  France vs. Germany, QF #1.

Villarreal connections:  Would like us to look at some of the less-fancied talent in Ligue 1. No one other than Perbet currently in the squad, and he may be on the outs.

The Germans are too deep, talented, and expensive for us. Will they finally get over the hump at this tournament?

Tournament situation:  Border war. Should be great fun in some of the areas of Alsace that I visited earlier this year. The Germans have the mettle, but the French have impressed so far. This is a big step up though.

Prediction:  Germany 2-0.

4 pm ET:  Brazil vs. Colombia, QF #2.

Villarreal connections:  Ravi's probably betting on James Rodriguez to follow Neymar on loan to Villarreal. So this match has our next two star signings!

Back to reality -- we did have Cristián Zapata once. And Hulk tormented us with Porto in the Europa League semifinals. So did some injured Colombian striker...

Word is that we are in for "La Roca", Elche's Colombian midfielder Carlos Sánchez. His release clause is reportedly €5MM, and it's unlikely that his stock will drop having appeared on the international stage. He started his career in Uruguay, moved to Ligue 1 side Valenciennes, then our neighbors spent €3.7MM on him last season -- that's a huge outlay for them.

Tournament situation:  Who will want the ball in this match? Both sides are dynamic, so the counter may suit both better. I've had a beef with Colombian manager Pekerman ever since he removed Riquelme in the 2006 quarterfinal against hosts Germany (resulting in Argentina's exit in penalties), but he's done very well to motivate a side without its best player (same for France above).

Prediction:  Chile could have taken out the hosts, so Colombia certainly has a good chance. But do the cafeteros have the experience? Brazil to squeak it 2-1.