Winners of today’s matches will seal a spot for themselves in the semifinals.
France takes on Germany at noon EST at Estádio Maracanã in festive Rio de Janeiro. Both teams come into this match-up with three wins and one draw. Germany has been to the semifinal round three times in a row and has three titles to its name throughout Cup history. Les Bleus are looking for their second Cup title.
Fears of the flu among German players could give the French an advantage. Team manager Joachim Löw told the Guardian, “Seven players are slightly ill with flu symptoms. It is not that bad at the moment and it could be partly about air conditioning, the travel, temperature differences. I do not want to make a drama of it. We hope the situation will ease.”
French manager Didier Deschamps said his players are ready to focus. “They are finished with being careless. Everyone can dream, including me, but I'm a pragmatist and a realist, Friday is the only thing that counts, the harmonious squad is a pleasure to work with and we will give it everything we've got.”
History will be in the background as the two teams meet. West Germany beat France in a shootout in 1982, but the match became infamous for one of the most brutal fouls committed in Cup history that left French player Patrick Battiston unconscious with missing teeth.
This match is as much a match-up of countries as it is of players. Brazil’s number 10, Neymar, will face Colombia’s number 10, James Rodriguez. Both players have already scored multiple times in the tournament -- Rodriguez leads the pack with five goals and Neymar closely trails with four goals. The pressure is on Brazil to perform in front of a home crowd.
France vs. Germany will air on ESPN2 and Colombia vs. Brazil will air on ESPN. If you’re on a beach celebrating the Fourth, you can watch on the Univision website or download the free Univision mobile app.