To say that the 2014 World Cup has gotten off to a surprising start would be an understatement. It's been so jaw-droppingly intense and unpredictable that you can't help but wonder what is in store for the next four weeks.
We are getting a bit ahead of ourselves, since we are still going to be in the Group Stage until June 26. That's not to diminish the importance of this part of the World Cup, it's only to highlight that teams still have time to bounce back from a loss.
Since we want to keep things in the present, or immediate future, we've got a look at what to expect from the fourth day of the World Cup and a look back at the early results.
|2014 World Cup Results|
|Group A||Brazil def. Croatia, 3-1|
|Group A||Mexico def. Cameroon, 1-0|
|Group B||Netherlands def. Spain, 5-1|
|Group B||Chile def. Australia, 3-1|
|Group C||Colombia def. Greece, 3-0|
Day 4 Schedule/Predictions
|12 p.m.||Switzerland vs. Ecuador||ABC||2-1|
|3 p.m.||France vs. Honduras||ABC||3-0|
|6 p.m.||Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina||ESPN||3-2|
The World Cup gets a bit of a breather coming off four matches on Saturday, but the six clubs on display include a favorite to win it all (Argentina), one of the most consistent clubs in the world (Switzerland) and a perennial power flying under the radar (France).
While there's merit to all three matches, the main event is, coincidentally, the finale on Sunday with Argentina taking on Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Everyone will expect Argentina to win, and rightly so. It is the overwhelming favorite to win Group F, with OddsShark listing it at 4-1 odds to win the World Cup. No one else in the group has better than 150-1 (Bosnia-Herzegovina).
However, we shouldn't be so quick to sleep on the Bosnia-Herzegovina squad in this spot. Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella has said, via FIFA.com, that he's got concerns about the team's goal-prevention:
We are looking good in attack but I am a bit worried about the defence, to be honest. But the team has more experience now [than in 2010], and that is very important in the World Cup.
Lionel Messi's presence on the offensive side makes it easier to sacrifice something on the back, but keep in mind that Bosnia-Herzegovina has been relentless with the ball leading into the World Cup.
Coach Safet Susic's squad put together 30 goals in 10 qualifying matches, more than all but three teams (Germany, England, Netherlands).
Even with Bosnia-Herzegovina's lack of experience on the World Cup stage—this is the country's first World Cup appearance after gaining independence from Yugoslavia—it's proven to have more than enough firepower to play with anyone in the world.
It would be foolish to bet against Argentina in this spot, but expect a much closer final score than the betting odds would suggest.
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