Day 4 of the 2014 World Cup will see two of the tournament favourites take to the Brazilian pitches for the first time, and one team will play in its very first World Cup match in team history.
Bosnia-Herzegovina haven't had an official team for a very long time, but the young nation thoroughly deserved its ticket for the 2014 World Cup. A chance to show the globe what it can do against one of the heavyweights of world football sounds almost like a Hollywood script.
Here's the full schedule for Sunday's matches, including TV and live stream info:
|Date||Match||Time||TV info||Live Stream|
|Sun, June 15||Group E: Switzerland vs. Ecuador||5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET||ABC/ITV||WatchESPN/ITV Player|
|Sun, June 15||Group E: France vs. Honduras||8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET||ABC/BBC One||WatchESPN/BBC iPlayer|
|Sun, June 15||Group F: Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina||11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ET||ESPN/BBC One||WatchESPN/BBC iPlayer|
Switzerland v Ecuador
Discipline and organisation are key words when describing both of the teams who will be kicking off Sunday's slate of games, so fans can expect quite the midfield battle when Switzerland and Ecuador take to the pitch.
Ecuador's biggest strength is perhaps continuity—this team has remained largely the same in the past four years, and the chemistry these players have often shows when they play teams who may not have been together for so long.
The team's qualifying campaign was rocky: sensational form at home, just three points collected in other matches. Ecuador haven't looked impressive during preparations either, and their difficulties playing away from home is something they need to fix as soon as possible.
Against the Swiss, however, Ecuador will have more of a home-field advantage than they had during their friendlies, and if Antonio Valencia plays up to his potential, the team has a good chance of upsetting the favoured Swiss team.
Switzerland played out a goal-fest against Iceland in qualifiers but only conceded twice outside of that match, and the same pattern has continued during preparations. This team is resilient, hard-working and far more talented than people give it credit for, but it lacks a killer in front of goal.
Josip Drmic could be the striker following an excellent 2013-14 campaign, but the 21-year-old has limited experience on the international stage.
Prediction: Switzerland 1-0 Ecuador
France v Honduras
Honduras' run to the 2014 World Cup was a nice story, including a monumental win over Mexico at the iconic Estadio Azteca. Not unlike Ecuador, the team struggled away from home, with the win against Mexico being the only one in the CONCACAF qualifying hexagonal.
France aren't Mexico, however, and people started taking notice of their excellent form well ahead of their 8-0 demolition of Jamaica. Franck Ribery might not be with the team in 2014, but Antoine Griezmann has been more than solid as his replacement.
Didier Deschamps' biggest asset is his powerful midfield led by the young Paul Pogba at 21 years old. The Juventus man lacks experience on this level, but his composure on the ball is incredible for such a young player. He dominates opponents in the centre of the pitch defensively and adds enough to the front line to make him one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world already.
That French front line is spearheaded by Karim Benzema, and Olivier Giroud has been excellent as a replacement in recent weeks. Loic Remy only adds to the offensive wealth, something the Honduran side will have difficulties coping with.
Carlo Costly is the driving force behind Honduras, and the French back line isn't the most experienced he'll be facing at the 2014 World Cup. If he can take advantage of its youthful enthusiasm, Honduras might have a chance.
Prediction: France 4-0 Honduras
Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina
Argentina may be among the heavy favourites for the World Cup coming into the tournament, but this match has some serious upset potential.
Bosnia-Herzegovina have little to lose, making their first World Cup appearance and going up against one of the absolute giants of world football. They have a solid stopper in Asmir Begovic, one of the world's most underrated midfielders in Miralem Pjanic and a striker who thrives on defensive mistakes in Edin Dzeko.
People are expecting the Albiceleste to just breeze through Group F, with Iran and Nigeria not offering much more of a threat on paper than Bosnia-Herzegovina. Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain have the potential to score at any given time, and on the club level, that's exactly what they did in 2013-14.
But all four of them needed too many open looks against Trinidad and Tobago and Slovenia to get on the score sheet, and both those teams were able to put some real pressure on a shaky back line. They didn't take advantage of mental lapses, but Dzeko will.
Martin Demichelis has experience on his side, and he knows how Dzeko operates, going up against the striker every day in practice with Manchester City. If the centre-back can mark Dzeko out of the match, Argentina shouldn't have any problems getting past this inexperienced side.
But that's easier said than done, and with the Albiceleste perhaps facing more pressure than ever before, the door is wide open for Bosnia-Herzegovina to continue their fairy-tale run.
Prediction: Argentina 2-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina