Scores in the 2014 World Cup failed to surprise in Day 1, but they did in Day 2.
The Netherlands shocked Spain, the defending champions, by the score of 5-1. A loss alone would've surprised Spain, the favorite to advance out of Group B. But the fashion in which it lost made the result even more damning.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Spain's odds to advance out of the group stage plummeted on Friday:
According to SPI, Spain’s chances of advancing to the round of 16 went from 79% to 34% following their 5-1 loss today.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 13, 2014
As if Spain needed more bad news, Chile looked outstanding against Australia. It only took Chile 14 minutes to jump out to a 2-0 lead. It ultimately defeated Australia 3-1, and after both Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben outscored Spain individually, Chile looks more than capable of eliminating Spain.
Brazil and Croatia kicked off Group A play on Thursday, and Mexico completed its first round of matches by beating the Cameroon 1-0. According to Odds Shark, Croatia entered as a slight favorite over Mexico to advance out of the group. While Croatia drew a far more difficult opening match than Mexico, Mexico looked like the better ballclub through Day 2.
Here's a full preview of Day 3:
|12 p.m.||Colombia vs. Greece||ABC||4-1|
|3 p.m.||Uruguay vs. Costa Rica||ABC||3-0|
|6 p.m.||England vs. Italy||ESPN||2-2|
|9 p.m.||Ivory Coast vs. Japan||ESPN||3-3|
With four matches, Saturday will be the biggest day for this year's World Cup yet.
Italy vs. England is the headliner. The ballclubs are incredibly evenly matched. According to Odds Shark, Italy has the seventh-highest odds to win the World Cup and England has the ninth-highest.
However, while England has beatable odds to win it all, it isn't even favored to advance out of Group D. Instead, Uruguay, which will play Costa Rica on Day 3, is expected to advance. This all makes England's bout with Italy that much more pivotal—just ask Bryan Robson:
How will Italy vs. England result?
Italy, which still has players left over from its 2006 World Cup title, will be a difficult out, but England must at least force a draw with Uruguay looming.
Ivory Coast vs. Japan will also be a nail-biter. Neither ballclub is expected to compete for the title, but head-to-head, they'll put on a show.
Uruguay vs. Costa Rica and Colombia vs. Greece likely won't. Odds Shark gave Costa Rica measly 241-20 odds to beat Uruguay and Greece 369-50 odds to deal Colombia a loss.
And Colombia and Uruguay aren't even top contenders to win the World Cup. That should tell you something about Costa Rica's and Greece's talent. Expect blowouts—like Netherlands-over-Spain blowouts.
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.