Guesses: Day 19
Paraguay vs. Japan, 10 a.m. ET
A pair of teams both looking to make the quarter-finals for the first time in their respective histories, Paraguay and Japan both lay legitimate claim to the title ‘surprise of the tournament’. The Japanese were supposed to be all defence – and they’ve won with offence. Paraguay – exact opposite scenario. Set pieces are the likely difference, with Keisuke Honda looking like the man who’s mastered the Jabulani ball better than anyone else here.
Prediction: Japan 2, Paraguay 1
Spain vs. Portugal, 2:30 p.m. ET
It’s hard to reconcile the two Portugals at these finals – the one who looked dreary against Ivory Coast, or the one who cruised against North Korea. (Let’s forget the one that declared a truce against Brazil.) They’ve been disappointed so often, and jittery Spain look primed for a fall. Unlike England-Germany, this should be a battle of giants that shows acres of skill on both sides of the park.
Prediction: Portugal 3, Spain 2