Note to self: don’t predict so many draws. I earned a solid 1 point yesterday (thanks Brazil!). It was ugly. The games were a lot of fun, though, especially that Mexico-Croatia match. Also, congrats to Juan Mata for scoring his first World Cup goal, Fernando Torres for scoring any goal, and David Villa for scoring in his last ever Spain game. I’m sure it wasn’t much consolation, but at least they didn’t embarrass themselves any more than they already had.
Brians Prediction Points Tally = 19
I need some wins today. Hopefully Group C and Group D can deliver.
Again, for whatever reason, the second group alphabetically is playing first. If anyone out there knows officially why this is, please share with the class. England is out already, and Costa Rica are guaranteed a spot in the next round, but the Central Americans have yet to clinch the top spot in the group, and England need to show something for themselves, so this is going to be an exciting game. I imagine that England is going to pull a Spain and change the majority of their lineup, hopefully giving guys like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rickie Lambert some quality World Cup minutes. All three of Spain’s goal scorers in yesterday’s match had yet to start this World Cup, so maybe England will have similar luck. Across the pitch, though, Costa Rica will not only want the pride of winning their group, but also the peace of mind knowing that doing so would most likely mean they do not face Colombia in the next round. They can likely handle Colombia at this point, but why bother finding out so early in the tournament? No one on England’s bench is really going to make much of a difference, but I at least expect them to make a decent show of it. My prediction:
Costa Rica 3 : 1 England
Oh man. Oh man oh man oh man. While Costa Rica is out there putting England to shame, Italy and Uruguay will be facing off in a winner-moves-on battle for second place in Group D.* (*Probably, unless somehow Costa Rica completely implodes.) Italy have a very slight edge in goal differential, which means that a draw favors them to move on. However, their defense isn’t quite what it used to be, and if Wayne Rooney can get through, then Luis Suarez can DEFINITELY get through. Suarez only had two shots against England, but Suarez had two goals against England. I can’t imagine Italy making it out of this one. My prediction:
Italy 1 : 2 Uruguay
I’m giving Italy the benefit of the doubt that Pirlo will set Balotelli up in some majestic, goal-of-the-tournament manner, the two of them being absurd mythical creatures of some kind. Suarez is like the Emperor in Fables, though; he don’t give a fuck how magical you are. Not a single fuck.
I’m not entirely sure why Group C is still so wide open. It’s awkward and disconcerting. Basically, though, if Ivory Coast beat Greece, they move on with Colombia. I think Ivory Coast are going to beat Greece. My prediction:
Greece 0 : 2 Ivory Coast
It kinda doesn’t matter what happens in the Japan-Colombia game, but it kinda does. Colombia haven’t clinched the top spot in the group, so they have to play for at least a point, but that’s all they have to play for. Japan, though, has a decent enough goal differential that, if they win and Ivory Coast lose or draw (Greece would be the ones moving on with a Greece win and a Japan loss or draw), they could be joining Colombia in the next round instead of the Africans. Long story short, Japan is going to be fighting. Too bad they’re basically incapable of scoring goals. They were a man up on Greece for almost an hour in the last game, and they still couldn’t score. Ivory Coast are moving on. My prediction:
Japan 0 : 2 Colombia
It’s going to be a fun afternoon, thought not as much fun as the morning. Also, this is why I love the Ivory Coast team so much.