2014 FIFA World Cup: Knockout Stages Picks

Second Round

Brazil vs. Netherlands

Ivory Coast vs. Uruguay 

France vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina

Germany vs. South Korea

Spain vs. Mexico

Italy vs. Colombia

Argentina vs. Switzerland

Belgium vs. United States

Quarterfinals 

Brazil vs. Uruguay

France vs. Germany

Spain vs. Italy 

Argentina vs. Belgium

Semifinals 

Brazil vs. France

Italy vs. Argentina 

Third Place 

France vs. Italy

Finals

Brazil vs. Argentina

*Key historical pattern: Dating back to the 1978 tournament in the history of the World Cup, there has been an alternating trend of success by a host nation that is also a powerhouse team (one of the world’s best, whether or not playing at home). The four most recent times this situation has occurred, and prior to the upcoming one with Brazil in 2014, were in the years 1978, 1990, 1998, and 2006. In the 78′ World Cup (that took place in Argentina) Argentina won, in 90′ (Italy) Germany won, in 98′ (France) France won, and in 06′ (Germany) Italy won. Now, considering that the last time a powerhouse team hosted the World Cup lost, and that although the pattern starting in 1978 contains a small sample size it’s nonetheless striking and noteworthy, Brazil seems on track–at least with this one historical standpoint–to win the 2014 tournament.

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