Brazil can wrap up a place in the knock-out stages before Russia get to kick a ball at this World Cup. If Belgium are still the dark horses of this tournament it’s only because so many lights have been shone on them that they’re getting a tan. Enough bloviating, let’s get to the marrow of today’s games.
Belgium v Algeria – 5pm | Belo Horizonte
- Algeria have failed to score in their last 5 World Cup games. If they can go 36 minutes without scoring against Belgium they’ll beat the World Cup record of 517 minutes without a goal. Go Algeria, you can do it!
- Romelu Lukaku has just 6 goals in 29 games for Belgium.
- Belgium conceded just four goals in qualifying.
- Belgian waffles are a tasty but unhealthy way to start your day.
Brazil v Mexico – 8pm | Fortaleza
- Barcelona and Tottenham flop Giovani dos Santos is better than you might remember. He came close several times against Cameroon, always looks good for Mexico and has proven himself a big game player in the past.
- Hulk is out injured for this game. He may as well have been out injured for the last one too. Over-rated.
- Neymar has six goals in three international games this calendar year.
Russia v Korea Republic – 11pm | Cuiaba
- The absence of creative midfield force Roman Shirokov could seriously restrict Russia’s attacking play.
- Korea lost four of their last five games in the run up to the tournament including a 4-0 shellacking at the hands of Ghana. The same Ghana who were beaten 2-1 by the USA last night.
- Russia have failed to get past the group stages since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Fabio Capello has a 100% record of getting teams out of their group at a World Cup. (1 out of 1 is still 100%. David Nugent knows what I’m talking about.)