Well good morning, everyone. I hope you’ve recovered from last night’s elation because I sure haven’t. How do we top that? Group H might be the least exciting group of all, but at least we get to start it all again with Group A. This second set of games probably won’t top the first set, which have been tremendous, but they will give us a much better idea of how things are going to settle.
I’m going to Fenway again tonight for the Red Sox-Twins game. Not much new to say about the Red Sox other than that they need a winning streak soon. But back to the soccer. Here are my predictions for today’s games. I’ve been doing much better with my picks lately, so that’s good. But anyway, here we go.
Belgium 3 Algeria 0
I’ll admit, I don’t know much about this Algeria team other than what they did four years ago. But I don’t expect Belgium to be troubled today. There is simply too much of a talent gap between the two sides for Belgium not to win. For Premier League fans, Belgium should be your team, as their lineup is full of the stars you watch every weekend. I expect Kevin De Bruyne to open up the scoring, with his pace combining well with Eden Hazard for the opener. Romelu Lukaku will score the second on a header. And the third and final goal will come from Vincent Kompany, also via the head. This side will be a fun one to watch.
Brazil 2 Mexico 1
While on paper these sides don’t look all that even, Brazil will find themselves a tough opponent in Miguel Herrera’s Mexico. The first half will be exciting, back-and-forth play, but the teams will head to the locker room scoreless. Brazil captain Thiago Silva will score the opener on a set piece early in the second half to send the Brazilian crowd into a friendly. But Mexico will push hard for the equalizer. A Brazilian counter will see Neymar convert a short-range effort, doubling the lead. However, Mexico will bring one back through substitute Javier Hernandez, who will finally find the net. Mexico will impress on the day, but their effort won’t quite be enough against the hosts. The second round of Group A action will kick off with a bang.
Russia 1 South Korea 0
As little as I know about Algeria, I might know less about South Korea for whatever reason. I don’t think I’ve seen them play since 2010 either, and that won’t change today, as I’ll have to miss the match. But I think they’ll struggle, much like the reset of the Asian teams have in Brazil. The goal won’t be pretty, but Russia will turn in a loose ball in the box through Aleksandr Kerzhakov. I played this fixture many times in FIFA (the 2011 version for old time’s sake) against my South Korean friend last year because I found Kerzhakov’s pace suited my style of play. I thus expect him to be Russia’s man of the match tonight. But I’ll be rooting for South Korea so that I can get an excited phone call from Jota, whose past celebrations have included him shattering his phone while celebrating Ronaldo’s third goal against Sweden last fall.
I should have a piece on the Belgium-Algeria game after the match, but with the Red Sox tonight, I might not be able to write much about the second and third games. Enjoy your day and as always, thanks for reading. Now that I’m almost ten days in, I can honestly say that writing this blog has been a joy. Seeing that my readers are coming from all over the world is beyond cool. Thank you so much for checking out what I have to say. If you like it, keep coming back, and please tell your friends.