Thirty-two nations have become just eight, with the conclusion of the Second Round here in Brazil. The hosts are the only South American side left, with Europe providing five of the last eight, and two Asian nations completing the fixtures.
Holders meet hosts in the first Quarter-Final, with the victors playing the winners of the Netherlands-Australia tie that evening. In the other half of the draw, Japan and Croatia play for a final four fixture against the winners of Italy-Germany.
Spain will be without Jordi Alba until the Final should they make it, having had his suspension increased to three games following his dismissal for a shocking two-footed challenge against Japan in the Group Stage. Japan will be without five key players for their clash against Croatia, with injuries taking their toll on the squad.
Quarter-Final Fixtures (World Rankings): Fri 04 July Spain (1) v. Brazil (23) Salvador Japan (42) v. Croatia (13) Fortaleza Sat 05 July Italy (2) v. Germany (3) Brasilia Netherlands (5) v. Australia (33) Rio de Janeiro
Suspensions and Injuries:
- Jordi Alba (suspended, 2 matches)
- Jesús Navas (knee, flown home)
- Fernando (knee, fortnight)
- Naldo (thigh, 1 week)
- Keisuke Honda (ankle, flown home)
- Takashi Inui (hip, flown home)
- Tomoaki Makino (hernia, fortnight)
- Tadanari Lee (thigh knock)
- Michihiro Yasuda (groin, fortnight)
- Darijo Srna (broken foot, flown home)
- Daniele de Rossi (calf, flown home)
- Mario Gómez (hamstring, flown home)
- Patrick Kisnorbo (wrist, fortnight)
- Matt McKay (ribs, flown home)
Semi-Final Fixtures: Tue 08 July Spain/Brazil v. Netherlands/Australia Belo Horizonte Wed 09 July Japan/Croatia v. Italy/Germany Sao Paulo