After Saturday’s games much of the World Cup conversation centred on that James Rodriguez wondergoal for Colombia against Uruguay (which you can see on our blog here). Will we see such wonders today? Well, we’ll be happy if there’s a goal in the later game.
First up, however, is the clash of the new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal’s Dutch destroyers and Miguel Herrera’s marauding Mexicans which promises fireworks in Fortaleza.
That’s quite enough alliteration for one morning. Here’s Sunday’s bite-size essentials…
Holland v Mexico | Fortaleza | 5pm
- The Dutch were the highest scorers in the group stages with 10 goals – those days of hating each other may be gone.
- RVP and Arjen Robben have scored three goals each for Louis van Gaal’s side.
- Mexico have scored just four goals in this tournament and lost their last two friendlies against the Dutch 2-1 (2006, 2010).
Costa Rica v Greece | Recife | 9pm
- ‘No hopers’ Costa Rica were 50/1 to top Group D but did so in style beating Uruguay 3-1, Italy 1-0 and drawing 0-0 with plucky England to reach the round of 16 for the second time since Italia 90.
- The only goal they have conceded so far was a Uruguayan penalty.
- Greece W1, D1, L1 to reach the last 16 for the first time in their history. They’ve a lean, mean defence but still have a shot-shy reputation up front. In qualifying they scored just 12 compared to Bosnia’s 30.
- Gary Lineker was raving last night but not in an abandoned Brazilian train station. Raving about Rodriguez. “It was quite an astonishing goal from James Rodriguez. Goal of the tournament so far. Rodriguez now has five goals, which was the winning total for the golden boot four years ago. Won’t be enough at this World Cup,” he said.
- Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said the banned Luis Suarez was not to blame for their World Cup exit. Asked whether the Liverpool striker’s four-month ban for biting and the row which followed had drained his squad of energy, Tabarez said: “When he was no longer with us that was the end of that, there was no wearing out, we had the energy. I don’t know what energy we could have lost on Suarez,” Tabarez added, looking wrecked as his nose grew longer and longer.
- The broadsheets, meanwhile, have gone into overdrive on transfer speculation. The Daily Telegraph reports that Liverpool will set their sights on Chile’s Alexis Sánchez as they try to flog Suarez to Barcelona. The paper reports that Liverpool have more than £110 million worth of transfer targets “secured” or “lined up”.