It’s incredible to think that we’ve already reached the final weekend of the tournament, the last two games of World Cup action until Russia 2018. I’m not going to write much today, as it’s the third place game and mostly meaningless. To start, though, I earned 0 points with Argentina’s win over the Netherlands, so my count remains the same.
Brian’s Prediction Points Tally = 57.5
I’ve decided to throw back to the group stages for this game’s points totals, meaning that I’ll get 1 point for a win, .5 for a pk win, and 3 for a score line prediction. If I get anything other than a correct score line win in this third place game, I’ll have to get the score line right in the final to hit 64 points.
Obviously the third place match is between Brazil and the Netherlands. After beating Spain so completely in their opener, the Dutch had to believe that they were going to take the whole thing. The Brazilians, meanwhile, were the favorites from even before the tournament. Both teams looked shaky at various points during the Cup, though. The Netherlands may not have suffered any defeats as embarrassing as Brazil’s 7-1 obliteration at the hands of Germany—they suffer any defeats, as a matter of fact, as pk losses technically count as draws—but I don’t think that matters. The Dutch will likely have had the wind knocked out of their sails after the match against Argentina (which was only three days ago, remember), while the Brazilians have everything to play for in this one. Their fans were gutted at the Germany loss, and this is their chance to make it up to them a bit and go out on a high note. It won’t be much consolation, but it’ll be some. Add to that the fact that Thiago Silva will be back for this game, and I think the Brazil defense will be able to handle a Dutch team that really struggled to find the net in the knockout rounds. I honestly think that the Netherlands spent these last four years specifically preparing to beat Spain, to the detriment of their tactical ability to take down other sides. Brazil are very different from Spain, and right now they have everything to prove. I see them putting on a show for the home fans. My prediction:
Brazil 3 : 1 Netherlands
It may seem unbelievable given the horrible display they put forth against Germany, but expect to see a few new faces desperate to make a name for themselves mixed in with a few familiar ones looking for redemption. The Dutch, on the other hand, will likely have their minds on their upcoming club campaigns a little bit, especially with all of the transfer action that’s gone down this week.
Speaking of transfer action: ALEXIS SANCHEZ IS A GUNNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!