Drama was promised before last night’s matches, and drama was delivered as Argentina made it
through to the last 16 with just a handful of minutes left on the clock. But even more scintillating action
and drama lies ahead with the last group stage matches for Group E and particularly Group F which
promises to be a cracker!
Serbia vs Brazil
This is a must-win game for Serbia if they are to make it to the knockout stages on their own, although a
draw and some help from the other match in the group could also take them through on goal-
difference. As for Brazil, a point is enough to ensure qualification, although they will be aiming for a win and topping the group. It looks like a Brazil win on paper as the South-American country is undefeated in their last 13 games in all competitions.
Watch out for Gabriel Jesus – the young Man City striker, despite his injury run-ins, is still one of the most prolific in front of goal and he won’t be short on chances with the creative talent all around him.
Switzerland vs Costa Rica
The Nizhny Novgorod Stadium plays host to this game where Switzerland need a win to confirm
qualification while the Costa Ricans will be playing for nothing but pride. A draw would also be enough for the Swiss provided Serbia are unable to win in the other game. A Swiss win looks the predictable outcome as the Costa Ricans are winless in their previous five World Cup games, failing to even score in four of those.
Watch out for Ricardo Rodriguez – the Swiss left-back is usually a rock in defense and has a sweet left foot which can cause a lot of trouble from crosses and set-pieces for the Costa Ricans.
Mexico vs Sweden
This is the only group where no team is guaranteed to qualify yet, but neither team is completely out either. A lot of permutations, but all Mexico are concerned with is a point, which would be enough for them to secure not only qualification but also top spot. As for Sweden, a win by a margin of two or more will guarantee them qualification, but anything less and they remain dependent on the result of the other match.
Watch out for Javier Hernandez – the “Little Pea” already has an assist and a winning goal in the
tournament and he is as good a fox-in-the-box as you can get. You can always bet on him to finish if the required assistance is provided by the likes of Lozano and Vela.
South Korea vs Germany
The mighty Germans face a similar situation as the Swedes. A win by more two or more goals secures qualification for them, although a point would be enough as well provided Sweden lose to Mexico.
South Korea’s chances, as bleak as they might be, rely on them winning this match as well as a Mexican win in the other game, which would then bring it all down to goal-difference between Germany, South Korea as well as Sweden.
Watch out for Marco Reus – the Borussia Dortmund winger has finally managed to be injury free for his country in a major tournament and he will be completely ready to torment the South Korean defense with his pace and a sweet right foot.