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That could have gone better. I predicted that there would be 12 goals yesterday; there were 5. Maybe it was the backswing off the good luck I had with the US game, or maybe I just got cocky. Either way, I’m going to be a bit more reserved with today’s picks. At least I picked up a point off of that Belgium win, though.

Brian’s Prediction Points Tally = 11

In other news, I definitely want to go ahead with a prize/punishment for hitting my goal of 64 points. I only received one comment yesterday, though: “If you lose, you should take your fiance out for dinner and drinks. If you win, you should take your fiance out for dinner and drinks.” It was posted anonymously, but I think I can guess who it was. Any other thoughts? What do you think my prize/punishment should be? Let me know in the comments.

Now to the predictions! We’ve got an exciting day of football ahead of us. First up are the reigning goal leaders from the first cycle of games, the Netherlands, against a team that was supposed to roll over against Chile but put up a surprisingly strong fight, Australia. I’m not sure that the Netherlands will be out for blood as much as they were against Spain, who had beaten them in the final four years ago, but Australia are also a much weaker opponent. This could easily get out of hand, but I’m sticking with a reserved tally. My prediction:

Australia 0 : 3 Netherlands

The second game is going to be just as exciting, as it pits a recently-embarrassed-but-still-defending-champions Spain squad against a holy-shit-if-we-win-we’re-moving-on Chile squad. In 2002, defending champions Spain were eliminated during the group stage, as were defending champions Italy in 2010. Is it going to happen to Spain? This is probably my biggest high-pressure prediction of the tournament, as I pretty much have to decide whether I think Spain is moving on or not. My prediction:

Spain 3 : 2 Chile

It’s going to be ugly and nervy, but I think Spain are going to right this ship. (Either that or record a 2-2 draw and all but kiss their hopes of moving out of the group goodbye, but I have to pick one. Maybe I’ll take a 1/2 point if it’s 2-2.) The final match of the day moves us back to Group A, where Cameroon take on Croatia. This is going to be a great game, because Croatia have got to be pissed after that shit show opener against Brazil. The refs royally screwed them, and now they’re stuck playing catchup to Mexico after El Tri drew with Brazil. I expect no mercy, and the poor Cameroon squad are going to be on the receiving end of a whole lot of righteous indignation. My prediction:

Cameroon 0 : 2 Croatia

Hopefully I have better luck today than I did yesterday. I’m going to need it if I plan on hitting 64 points.

Old World charm up the wazoo, Jesus.

Ahh, Croatia. How can you not root for a country this beautiful?

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