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FIFA World Cup: 4 July 2014: Live Thread

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Live thread for the first day of the Quarter-Final stage of the competition

Buda Mendes

Eight games. That's all that's left at the 2014 World Cup, and today marks the start of the Quarter-Finals. Four great teams will be in action and as the football gods would have it two European sides will face each other and in the later game two South American teams will go toe to toe.

Germany vs France, Kickoff: 6pm CET

Two European powerhouses will start off the proceedings. Judging by the "water cooler talk" this one could go either way as neither of the sides showed enough to be considered strong favorites. Actually, the road of both teams up to this point has been fairly similar. Both impressed in some games, Germany against Portugal and France against Switzerland, but struggled in others, Germany against Ghana and France against Ecuador.

Both teams also failed to impress in the Round of 16 matches with France leaving it very late in regulation to finally put one into Nigeria's net before an added time own goal would make the score look better for France. Germany struggled even more in their match, needing extra time to dispose of an incredibly resilient Algeria side. Both France and Germany were the better opponents in their respective Round of 16 matches, but unless they improve on their finishing this one could go all the way to a penalty shootout.

Brazil vs Colombia, Kickoff: 10pm CET

Another South American opponent for the host nation, Brazil, who apart from a relatively meaningless game against Cameroon haven't really shown much. They have struggled against Croatia and Mexico in the Group Stage and it was no different in the Round of 16 where Chile held on until the penalty shootout where Brazil eventually prevailed.

Colombia though might be a better "fit" for Brazil as they usually play a more open game which could give Brazil enough space to work the magic they have showed in the past. But that doesn't mean that Colombia have no chance against the hosts. Far from it actually as José Pékerman's men have been one of the strongest performers so far in the tournament, winning almost all of their matches in convincing fashion - only one game finished within one goal.

It's starting to get really tough for the title contenders/pretenders now as we've come to the point where no team left in the competition can be written off. Enjoy!