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Loo Read: Your bare-ass essentials for Tuesday’s World Cup games

by Rob Dore | June 17, 2014

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.

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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.

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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.)

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Other News

  • Thanks to the continuing protests in Brazil over the amount of money the government spent to host the World Cup, Giselle Bundchen is now going to present the trophy to the winners. It was supposed to be Brazilian president Dilma Roussef (below).
  • bundchen_rousseff

  • Rumours have sprung up linking Tomas Vermaelen with a move to Old Trafford. The Belgian centre-back has fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal and would be great replacement for Nemanja Vidic. There’s also talk of Tom Cleverly being sent in the other direction. Win-win for Louis Van Gaal.
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