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World Cup 2014 Groups Table: Updated Standings and Predictions After Day 4

Argentina's Lionel Messi, centre, celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the group F World Cup soccer match between Argentina and Bosnia at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, June 15, 2014.   (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press
Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2014

World Cup fans were treated to a stunning game-winning goal in stoppage time from Switzerland against Ecuador, French domination against Honduras that featured some goal-line technology and the first look at megastar Lionel Messi during Sunday’s action. 

Ultimately, France won 3-0 behind the brilliance of Karim Benzema, Argentina won 2-1 behind a goal from Messi and Switzerland won 2-1 in shocking fashion. Sporting News noted that it was as close to a buzzer-beater as we could ask for in group play of a World Cup game:

Take a look at what the standings look like in each group after such a thrilling trio of games before digging into some predictions for Monday’s contests.

2014 World Cup Group Standings
Group A
TeamPWDLPts
Brazil11003
Mexico11003
Cameroon10010
Croatia10010
Group B
TeamPWDLPts
Netherlands11003
Chile11003
Australia10010
Spain10010
Group C
TeamPWDLPts
Colombia11003
Ivory Coast11003
Japan10010
Greece10010
Group D
TeamPWDLPts
Costa Rica11003
Italy11003
England10010
Uruguay10010
Group E
TeamPWDLPts
France11003
Switzerland11003
Ecuador10010
Honduras10010
Group F
TeamPWDLPts
Argentina11003
Iran00000
Nigeria00000
Bosnia and Herzegovina10010
Group G
TeamPWDLPts
Germany00000
Portugal00000
Ghana00000
United States00000
Group H
TeamPWDLPts
Belgium00000
Algeria00000
Russia00000
Korea Republic00000
FIFA.com

 

Predictions for Monday’s Games

Germany vs. Portugal

Group G may be the “group of death,” but to Germany, it just represents the first three games in what could be a run to a World Cup title.

Germany’s depth and defensive ability will certainly be tested Monday, though, against Portugal and superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal is ranked No. 4 in the FIFA rankings and poses as the most serious threat to Germany in this group on paper.

Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

Shutting down Ronaldo will likely result in victory for Germany, but that is much easier said than done. He is almost always the fastest player on the field, and it will take more than one defender to keep him scoreless Monday.

Look for Ronaldo to score early with a moment of individual brilliance, but Germany’s elite depth and overall talent will ultimately prevail.

Prediction: Germany 2, Portugal 1

 

Iran vs. Nigeria

John Raoux/Associated Press

Iran and Nigeria may not make as many headlines stateside as the two Group G games do, but Nigeria could certainly advance to the knockout stages behind powerhouse Argentina in Group F.

Premier League players Victor Moses and Peter Odemwingie lead the attack against what should be a rather vulnerable Iran defense. Neither of these teams has won a World Cup game since 1998, where Iran registered their only win in World Cup history, but Nigeria will rectify that Monday.

They are simply too fast and talented for Iran to stop on the defensive end over the course of an entire 90-minute game.

Prediction: Nigeria 3, Iran 0

 

United States vs. Ghana

The first match in the group stages of the World Cup is very rarely a must-win, but given the presence of Germany and Portugal in this group, both the United States and Ghana need a victory Monday to realistically have a chance of advancing.

Ghana knocked the U.S. out of the past two World Cups, and midfielder Andre Ayew believes his team will do it again, via ESPN FC:

But we also are winners. We have won twice. And as we say there is no two without three, so we want to try and beat them for the third time. We know it is going to be very difficult. They are prepared but we are also prepared. We are not thinking about what the U.S. side can do. I believe in all our players I believe in the group. If we are fit and we are all 100 percent there is no way that we arent going to win this game.

However, only four Americans who were in that 2010 match are likely to start in this game, and those come in the form of familiar veterans Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore.

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Ghana has plenty of individual talent and speed across the board, but the Americans are deeper and have the quest for revenge as another form of motivation.

Look for the United States to strike on a counterattack in the second half after somewhat of a sluggish game that is overshadowed by the high-pressure stakes from the beginning. That will be enough to notch the critical three points with Howard in goal.

Prediction: United States 1, Ghana 0

 

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