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Thomas Muller's work rate can power German World Cup progress


Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku

Getty Images

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku

This World Cup just gets better and better. The quarter-finals promise plenty of entertainment as well. Here's my view on how they will turn out.

GERMANY v FRANCE: This match will be decided in midfield and I believe Germany have the mentality and ability to win the battle in the middle of the park.

Philipp Lahm can be a key figure for the Germans. A few eyebrows were raised in football when he switched from full-back to midfield, but if you are blessed by footballing ability there is no reason why you can't switch positions later in your career and be a success.

Another important player for Germany will be Thomas Muller. He is so athletic, makes good runs and works tremendously hard for the team. Missed chances don't bother him as he backs himself to net the next one. That's a good quality to have. It could be useful against France.

My Verdict: Germany victory.

BRAZIL v COLOMBIA: Brazil have not played to their full potential so far, but in this match they'll have to as they are coming up against a buoyant and very talented side.

Colombia slipped under the radar of most people before the World Cup kicked off. They have shown in their games to date though that they are a force to be reckoned with.

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I like the way Colombia play and celebrate their goals. When they score they are all there enjoying the moment together which suggests they are a happy, compact unit. Believe me, football teams are not always like that.

Colombia's star man has been James Rodriguez. He is an impressive character and for certain he will be one sought after footballer once this tournament is over. I can see a lot of big clubs knocking on Monaco's door to sign him.

My Verdict: From everything that I've seen so far from both teams, my head says Colombia but my heart says Brazil, so I'm sticking with my original tip for glory to come through a cracking contest.

HOLLAND v COSTA RICA: While all the other quarter-finals will be close, Holland should be clear winners in this one.

Costa Rica have been fun for the tournament but their journey should end at the weekend.

I know the game didn't matter a great deal to Costa Rica, but in the group stages England had the measure of them, so Holland should have no problems.

Dutch minds will have been focused after their last game with Mexico when they were nearly knocked out. That was the warning they needed going into this match.

I'll be interested to see if Robin van Persie starts for Holland and if he does how well he will do, because he was anonymous against Mexico.

My Verdict: Holland.

ARGENTINA v BELGIUM: Belgium can cause Argentina problems. They have talented players all over the park and this could be a real thriller.

Divock Origi, the young Belgium striker on his way to Liverpool, is a fine young player but I would start Romelu Lukaku ahead of him because he is better equipped to hurt Argentina's defence.

The South Americans will have to be better than they were against Switzerland, though of course what they have going for them is the Lionel Messi factor. It's going to be tight and the magic of Messi might just be the difference.

My Verdict: Argentina.

Bradley has quality to star in Premier League

I'm going to miss watching USA's Michael Bradley after his team's heroic exit against Belgium.

I've kept an eye on his career because in my opinion he is a player with a lot going for him and he showed it in Brazil with his passing range, tackling, his work-rate and his influence on the team.

He's played club football in Germany and in Italy and is currently with Toronto FC in the MLS.

He had a short loan spell at Aston Villa a few years ago and I'd love to see him back in the Premier League because with all his attributes, I feel he would be a hit.

He's only 26. Somebody in England should make a move for him.

Belgium’s win over USA was extra special game

There have been so many great games in this World Cup it is hard to pick out the best one, but for me Belgium's 2-1 victory over USA on Tuesday night after extra time is top of the pile to date.

I was shattered and really should have gone to bed, but I couldn't tear myself away from the television.

To me it was exactly how football should be played with two honest sides going toe-to-toe with no quarter asked or given. There were no underhand tactics or histrionics either, just two sets of players giving it everything.

As well as total commitment there was classy play on show too. It got me thinking why couldn't England have played like that?

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