World Cup Daily: July 4
A daily update on the action in Brazil
By Nick Barbaro, 7:30AM, Fri. Jul. 4
Action picks up again today with two tasty intra-continental match ups: France-Germany at 11am, followed by Brazil-Colombia at 3pm. There are health concerns in both games: Seven German players (unnamed) are suffering flu-like symptoms, and Brazil's indispensable Neymar is carrying knee and thigh injuries suffered against Chile.
Two countries that have some history between them. Two teams that looked great in the group stage, then got exposed a little in the round of 16 – both of them held scoreless up until the final few minutes. The French attack looked like it was out of ideas; the German defense looked slow and not much use in playing balls forward. Resistible force meets moveable object? Or, perhaps, is the outcome already predetermined by philosophy?
Be on time for the playing of the two most iconic national anthems in the world.
We haven't seen Brazil at their best yet in four games. Will we ever see Brazil at their best? Do they even have a best? They'd better find it soon, because Colombia is a team that has been at their best – the only team in the tournament that's been consistently solid, and the only team to win their round of 16 game comfortably.
11am: Argentina/Belgium; 3pm: Netherlands/Costa Rica