Uruguay v. Netherlands
Missing Suarez could be a problem for the Uruguayans, but it seems to me like this could be the classic back-up quarterback type situation. No-one off Uruguay’s bench can likely replace the ability to curl one in from the outside of the box like Suarez did against Korea. However, it seems like good soccer teams set up goals through passing and team work and close looks at the net. It’s likely that the other 10 players on Uruguay can at least set someone up with as many good chances as Suarez has tapped in.
The Dutch are probably the better squad here, but by how much? I get the distinct feeling that international soccer has a similarity to golf in that the difference between good teams is not very much and 90 minutes is not a long time to determine who is better. Netherlands may be stronger, but I’d certainly say the Uruguayans have a fighting chance.
Germany v. Spain
Germany as the underdog to advance seems like one of those classic trap situations after they have dominated England and Argentina in consecutive games. But, I’m not sure I’m buying into that at all. Spain seems to have the best individual players left in the tournament, but color me less than impressed with their showing against Paraguay. The individual talent seems sexy, but no team has generated as many quality scoring chances as the Germans so far this tournament. I don’t know much about international Soccer, but it seems to me individual talent is very overrated. Spain might control the ball more, have more awe-inspiring-long-range shots, maybe more chances overall, but based on what I’ve seen so far from the Germans, I think they’ll have more quality opportunities.
Good Luck. Enjoy. Garra Charrua!