Paul Parker

Neymar is overrated and Higuain looks like a Championship player

Paul Parker

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Looking ahead to the World Cup quarter-finals and it is still hard to pick a winner as there are question marks about all the teams.

There have been no real weak teams in the tournament either and that is what has made it so watchable. Everybody looks capable of beating everyone else.

Starting with Brazil and they can count themselves lucky they are even in the quarter-finals. If Mauricio Pinilla's shot late shot for Chile was just an inch below the crossbar they would be gone, but these are the type of tight margins that come hand-in-hand with the knockout stages – you need that bit of good luck.

The team that wins the World Cup is probably going to look back on one game, or maybe even a few games, and think how lucky they were.

Having said that, I just have not been convinced by Brazil at all and I don’t feel they have enough about them in an attacking or defensive sense to win the Cup.

They do not have a centre-forward of note and are relying too much on Neymar who does not live up to all the hype and publicity he gets if you ask me.

He is the new kid and has all the tricks but that's not enough to bring you all the way to World Cup glory.

That could come back and bite me but you can't compare him to someone like Lionel Messi who is on another level.

Argentina are another side who are so reliant on that one player which is also a worry but you do at least feel that Messi is so good he could carry them all the way.

I would feel a lot more confident in Argentina if they had another in-form centre-forward at their disposal but Gonzalo Higuain is looking no better than a Championship striker to me at the moment and Sergio Aguero is toiling with injuries carried over from the Premier League season.

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The only side that is looking good all-around the pitch, and this could all change very quickly, is Colombia.

They have looked strong in every area. Their ball retention is superb and they are always progressive in their passing. But their all-around energy and pace is what really causes teams problems. Speed, energy and athleticism have been the hallmarks of the teams that have done well at this World Cup so far.

If you look at England, that is what we lacked, with the exception of a couple of players like Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley when he came on.

Out of the European teams left I feel the winner of the France v Germany clash will be the most likely to go all the way, even though again neither are perfect.

The Germans look good going forward but have questions marks at the back, especially in the full-back positions, while if Nigeria showed a bit more craft in the final third they could have knocked the French out.

The French have clearly improved a lot though. They lack some experience but they do at least seem to have desire and enthusiasm and I like Hugo Lloris in goal. They can't be written off.

I can't pick The Netherlands as they worry me a little – they seem just a little bit too Jekyll and Hyde but there are only three games left now. It can come down to one big performance or one off-day making the difference.

It remains wide open.

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