This World Cup in Russia had been pretty boring in the past couple of days in terms of scorelines, until Croatia beat Argentina as we suspected (which was great to see), with a 3-0 score to win the match last night. Which brings us to today, which features Brazil v Costa Rica, Nigeria v Iceland and Serbia v Switzerland. The games have not been easy to predict thus far.
In Group E, Brazil come into their second match, after a 1-1 draw against Switzerland, and anything less than a win against Costa Rica will be considered yet another disaster for them. An ongoing injury doubt is Manchester United’s latest £52 million signing, Fred, who hopes to start this game, but will most likely start on the bench. Brazilian coach Tite will have some decisions to make, but he’s likely to field the same side as against Switzerland, with Neymar playing through an earlier injury scare, after receiving many knocks in that match.
Costa Rica have a full bill of health going into this match, after losing to Serbia 1-0 in their opening match, and with another loss on the cards, they will be the first South American side to be knocked out, presumably only before Argentina suffer the same fate. We don’t see Costa Rica scoring against Brazil, but Ureña or Ruiz, or Joel Campbell could be the only likely scorers, if a miracle happened. However, there have been surprises in this World Cup, but we don’t think there will be any major surprises in this match.
Match Prediction: Brazil v Costa Rica 3-0 or Result Brazil Both Teams to Score: No
In Group D, Nigeria v Iceland is the second match of the day, and it’s a very important game for Argentina, as if Iceland beat Nigeria today, then this could well spell the end for Argentina, after currently having a minus 3 goal difference to recover from, against Nigeria in their final match next week. It’s all eyes on Nigeria v Iceland which should prove to be a hard fought match, between two very physical sides. Alfred Finnbogason who plays for Augsburg scored a wonder strike against Argentina and will look to add to his goal tally today. Johann Gudmundsson is out of this match with a calf problem, other than that Iceland will field the same side and the Viking Thunder Clap is sure to feature and may just intimidate Nigeria.
Nigeria come into the match needing a victory for any hope of qualifying into the next round, and they were disappointing against a very skilled side in Croatia in their first match, losing 2-0. Nigeria have star players like Mikel, Ndidi, Moses, Ighalo, Iwobi and others, but what’s the use of that if they cannot score? Nigeria could well break the deadlock and score their first goal today and we’re definitely in for a very interesting match.
However, we suspect Iceland coming out on top in this match, spelling an end to Nigeria’s hope of qualifying to the next round.
Match Prediction: Nigeria v Iceland 1-2 or Over 2.5 goals
In Group E’s evening match, it’s Serbia v Switzerland, with Serbia coming off the back of a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica and Switzerland who drew 1-1 against Brazil in their opening match. Serbia are likely to keep the same starting 11 as against Costa Rica, whilst the Swiss will likely name the same line-up after a successful point against Brazil.
Serbia will be going for a win to ensure their qualification, but a draw will be just fine against Switzerland, however, the Swiss will be playing in the same vein and looking for a win today, and another draw for them, will not be a disaster at all, since Brazil would be expected to beat Serbia in their final match, which could ensure their qualification if they (Switzerland) beat Costa Rica in their final match, next week. It’s all taking shape after the second games in the group stages.
We expect a closely fought match between two evenly matched sides, so this could spell for another low scoring match this evening. But, let’s hope that low scoring games don’t become a staple of the World Cup in Russia.
Match Prediction: Serbia v Switzerland 1-1 or Under 2.5 Goals
Story by The Narrator
Featured Photo Credit: Goal.com