These next two days will complete the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and set up the round of 16 to follow. In oder of kick-off time:
Group F (Early Wednesday)
Who would have predicted Germany would struggle so — no not me. Still as ever they always find a way don’t they? Even deep into added time? GRRRRRRR! It could be that their side now settles into a rhythm and we see a return to the fluid football they are known for. If this is the case, then Korea is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Elsewhere, Mexico are virtually through. Considering the high intensity style they have, you have to expect the manager to rest some of his first team, but he can’t be complacent just yet. Sweden still have a chance if they win, and if Sweden / Mexico / Germany all finish on 6 points, then it could be Mexico going home in tears.
Who wants to bet against Germany winning the group after all?
Group E (Late Wednesday)
They huffed and puffed in the opening two fixtures, but tournament favorites Brazil will still be expected to win the group. Neymar has his opening goal and can grow into the competition, while Phillipe Coutinho continues to develop into one of the game’s top players.
Serbia’s late defeat to the Swiss may have knocked the stuffing out of them, but a win would put them ahead of Brazil. They do have a number of players who enjoy a battle, so don’t write them off just yet in a World Cup with no outstanding side.
Behind them, the Swiss need a point to progress, and that may mean they sit back and play for just that. However, such tactics are risky — and unnecessary since the suspension threat was lifted from Shaq & Xhak, leaving the Swiss attack intact.
Group H (Early Thursday)
Senegal v Colombia
Colombia were brilliant against a Poland after losing their opening game with 10 men.
Senegal looked dangerous on the counter attack. As pointed out by Didier Drogba, they play in a way that suggests a lack of true self-belief. The Colombia who beat Poland should win this one.
That would leave Japan needing a win to take top spot in the group, something unexpected prior to the start of the FIFA World Cup. Poland have looked poor, but the pressure is off them now. Many of their players are playing their final World Cup game, so you wouldn’t put it past them to win when it doesn’t matter — and while Japans’s players struggle to concentrate on their own game.
Group G (Late Thursday)
Panama v Tunisia
Both England and Belgium have a pair of wins against two of the competitions weaker sides. Both the will rest players on yellow cards and/or with knocks.
Harry Kane and Jesse Lingard were taken off early in the 6-1 hammering of Panama, suggesting they were being kept fresh for this one. Any lineup is possible, but if Belgium do as rumoured and rest Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Dres Mertens, then it opens the door to England to walk-off with the group win.
Did I tell you England won a game at a World Cup 6-1? No I will not recognize the level of opposition because that score again was 6 blooming 1 to England. Unrealistic expectations are still not on our shores yet, but I hear rumblings in the back of my mind building just a little.
As for Tunisia v Panama, it’s the old wooden spoon shootout. Panama’s suspension list will make Tunisia the expected winners, but will anyone be watching?
COME ON ENGLAND!
So which games will you be watching? What fantasy stars do you have going each day? How’s your captaincy faring? And what moves are you making to manage the 16-stage for your fantasy sides? Please let us know in the live chat comments below!