It’s the last day of the last 16 matches and while we’d like to say it’s guaranteed to be action-packed, full of drama and slightly xenophobic comments based on national stereotypes, the two favourites are well fancied to progress and there’s a chance it’ll be a bit crap.
But we’ve been wrong about these things before, so let’s have a quick run-through the bite-size essentials…
Argentina v Switzerland | Sao Paulo | 5pm
- Argentina have lost just one of their last 20 internationals, a run that stretches back to the end of September 2012 when they lost to Brazil.
- Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick the last time Argentina played Switzerland.
- Switzerland have never beaten Argentina. In three attempts, they’ve lost two and drawn one. Their only meeting at a World Cup came in the group stages of the 1966 tournament when Argentina Argentina beat them 2-0. Mind you, everyone beat them at that tournament.
Belgium v USA | Salvador | 9pm
- It’s the tournament’s original hipster team up against the newer hipster team that have emerged since they looked like they could get out of the Group of Death.
- The USA have the upper hand in World Cup matches against Belgium – they won the only one contested between the two sides. Somewhat less encouragingly, it was both nations’ first game at a World Cup – back in 1930. The Yanks won 3-0 with Edinburgh native, Bart McGhee scoring the opener. His career took in such clubs as New York Shipbuilding, Fleisher Yarn and Indiana Flooring. #theresonlyoneindianaflooring
- Since then, it’s been a bit grim for the Yanks. The teams have met four times since 1995 with Belgium winning all four games, even getting Marouane Fellaini on the scoresheet last time out in 2013.
- Dutch airline, KLM got in trouble in the aftermath of the Netherlands’ win over Mexico on Saturday. They tweeted a hilarious and not at all stereotype reinforcing picture of an airport departures board featuring a man wearing a sombrero with the caption ‘Adios Amigos’. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal got very annoyed with it, telling them he’d never use the airline again – only with more swear words. That’s anger levels similar to those experienced by anyone who has had to sit through Letters To Juliet.
- In other not very important Dutch news, the Netherlands team have been offered a trip into space should they go on to win the World Cup. Seems oddly appropriate given Arjen Robben’s struggles with gravity.