Messi’s mob sit bottom of our World Cup last-eight rankings

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Eight teams remain in the fight to lift the World Cup. We’ve ranked each one’s suitability to win the tournament below, but do you agree?

1. Colombia – 12/1

Los Cafeteros’ Group C domination was expected, but a 2-0 win over Uruguay was hugely impressive and in James Rodriguez they have the star of proceedings so far.

Colombia are one of only a handful of teams looking defensively sound and offensively scary at this stage of the tournament.

2. France – 8/1

Like Colombia, France performed both parts of the game superbly in the group stage, but looked abject in their match with Nigeria until late in the second half.

However, if they get their line-up right (i.e. sticking Benzema through the middle) they can progress.

3. Holland – 9/2

Holland showed tournament-winning character in their comeback win against Mexico.

With Costa Rica as their next opponents a semi-final spot should be expected, but beyond that there are plenty of reasons why they can go all the way.

4. Costa Rica – 50/1

Based on form, everyone’s favourite underdogs deserve to be here.

They’ve shown they can mix it with the big-boys already by topping Group D(eath) but the question is how long can they keep it up?

5. Brazil – 11/4

A reliance on one man to win matches can only last for so long and Brazil should have arguably already come-a-cropper off the back of their Neymar dependency in this tournament.

Up against Colombia next, the 10/3 on our number-one ranked side to win looks deliciously tempting.

6. Belgium – 12/1

Like Costa Rica, the Belgians remain something of an unknown at these finals.

Has their quality of opponent really tested them so far and have they even stood up to it having struggled to dominate any match? We don’t think so.

7. Germany – 9/2

Like an actor hanging over the edge of a cliff in any action film worth its salt, Germany’s grip on this World Cup is loosening by the finger (or game).

The Germans would be out now if Algeria could find a final ball and a repeat of those defensive frailties against France won’t get Joachim Loew another reprieve.

8. Argentina – 7/2

A carbon copy of Brazil’s problems, only with far less cohesion than their rival hosts. Argentina are simply uninspiring.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.