After all the talk, speculation and suspicious brown envelopes arriving at the FIFA offices, it’s finally here!
Merry World Cup 2014 Day everybody!!
It gets underway with a spectacular opening ceremony no doubt featuring lots of weird contemporary dance that people will bitch about on Twitter. The football actually starts at 9pm, which means the ceremony probably kicks-off around midday.
Brazil v Croatia – 9pm | Sao Paulo
- The hosts are tournament favourites and want a win to postpone crushing the hopes of a nation until a later date.
- No host has ever lost their first game of a World Cup (Hosts are: Played 20 Won 14 Drawn 6 Lost 0) in the tournament’s history. Brazil are 1/3 to win tonight.
- Croatia aren’t as strong as they’ve been in the past, but they’re not hopeless either. If we were to describe them as the exoskeleton of fruit, we’d call them a medium sized banana skin. 10/1 for a shock win is optimistic, but if you’re a Brazil doubter, 4/1 for a draw isn’t out of the question.
- Wayne Rooney’s place in the England team has been questioned in the last couple of weeks, but he’s found an ally to defend him. Admittedly an ally with not a whole lot of influence on Roy Hodgson’s selection, but an ally nonetheless. Phil Neville says the criticism is a “witch-hunt”. BBC Sport
- There are concerns about Danny Welbeck as England make final preparations for their game against Italy on Saturday. These centre on a thigh injury rather than the more general concerns about his ability. Wayne Rooney said he’ll be fine and despite his lack of a medical qualification, we’ll presume he’s right.
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is recovering well from the knee ligament injury he picked up against Ecuador and reports suggest he won’t be replaced in the squad. Emile Heskey is currently sobbing quietly in a dark room somewhere.
- Luis Suarez is winning his race to be fit for Uruguay’s campaign. After undergoing knee surgery, reports suggest he could be throwing himself to the ground under minimal contact for the game against England on June 19, possibly even their opener against Costa Rica.
- In other crocked superstar news, Cristiano Ronaldo played 65 minutes of Portugal’s cakewalk over an Ireland team already on their summer holidays. Portugal won Tuesday night’s game 5-1 and the Immaculately Preened One didn’t score, but did see plenty of action as he recovers from knee tendinitis.
- Yaya Toure is struggling to be fit ahead of the Cote D’Ivoire’s opening game against Japan on Sunday. Quick, someone get him a birthday cake.
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