Italy did England no favours and the outness of Roy Hodgson’s side has been confirmed. At that’s left for England fans is to hope to leave Brazil with at least one win by beating Costa Rica in their final game and cheering against the Germans. Sadly they looked pretty good in their opener and are expected to have to much attacking guile for a Ghana side which couldn’t contain the USA. Before that game my pick for the tournament, Argentina, should pick up a win against Iran but this has been a tournament of many shocks. That’d be one of the biggest though. We round the day off with Bosnia Herzegovina trying to win their first ever World Cup match against Nigeria. It will only be their second World Cup game mind.
Here’s a rapid run-through of today’s games.
Argentina v Iran | Belo Horizonte | 5pm
- Argentina are set to play a 4-3-3 formation in this game at the behest of Lionel Messi, returning to the formation which proved so successful in qualifying.
- Iran only conceded two goals in eight qualifying games but also only scored eight. Their 0-0 draw against Nigeria was arguably the worst game of the tournament so far.
- Carlos Queiroz is credited with setting the tactics which shut down Messi and Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2008. He’ll look to do the same but Iran are no Manchester United of 2008…they’re not even last season’s Manchester United.
Germany v Ghana | Fortaleza | 8pm
- This is just the third time these sides have met with Germany knocking Ghana out of the 2010 World Cup thanks to a Mesut Ozil goal.
- Ghana’s Kevin-Prince Boateng, whose brother Jerome plays for Germany, has accused today’s opponents of lacking leaders. ‘We’ll reply on the pitch,” responds Joachim Low.
- Rumours of a player revolt in the Ghana camp following defeat to the USA in their first game has been strenuously denied. there’s no smoke without a fire…unless you possess a smoke machine…or one of those e-cigarettes.
Nigeria v Bosnia Herzegovina | Cuaiba | 11pm
- Edin Dzeko managed just one shot in the game against Argentina. He’ll be expecting to up that rate against Nigeria’s defence..
- Nigeria have a number of injury concerns going in to this game. Key defender Godfrey Oboabona is definitely out and there are big doubts over a number of others.
- Nigeria are without a win in their last nine World Cup games. If they don’t improve massively on their showing against Iran that number will be a nice round ten.