While Day 6 of the 2014 World Cup might not feature a bevy of talented teams, host-nation Brazil will be in action against Mexico. That makes Day 6 worth watching.
The first five days of the World Cup have been stellar, as expected. Of course, there have been some surprises along the way. Nobody saw Spain's 5-1 loss to the Netherlands coming. Similarly, not many expected Uruguay to fall to Costa Rica, 3-1.
Even Ivory Coast's 2-1 victory over Japan was something of a shock. Will we see any surprises on Day 6 of the epic tournament?
Don't miss a single minute of what's sure to be a compelling day on the pitch. Below you'll find a full TV schedule, including live stream info and predictions for the three matches scheduled for play on Day 6.
Day 6 can be seen online at WatchESPN.com.
|June 17||12 p.m.||H||Belgium vs. Algeria||ESPN|
|June 17||3 p.m.||A||Brazil vs. Mexico||ESPN|
|June 17||6 p.m.||H||Russia vs. South Korea||ESPN|
Belgium vs. Algeria (Group H)
Belgium are a young group with multiple weapons on the attack. Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Nacer Chadli are all capable of taking over matches because of their potency on the attack. Despite being a young group, Belgium are loaded with experience. This is the nation's 12th appearance in the World Cup.
Their youthful talent makes them a dark-horse competitor in the 2014 World Cup. A team with no shortage of playmakers is always dangerous. When one or two players aren't doing well, there is plenty of depth on this team to step up and contribute.
If Eng can't win the World Cup, I hope Belgium do. Great players and may at last convince their compatriots of merits of the nation state!— Patrick O'Flynn (@oflynndirector) June 16, 2014
Algeria, on the other hand, are pretty weak. They qualified for the World Cup in 2010 but failed to score a single goal. Despite defeating Ivory Coast one week ago, Algeria isn't a team to be confident in. Islam Slimani and Madjid Bougherra are their lone players to watch.
This match might get ugly—and fast.
Prediction: Belgium 4, Algeria 0
Russia vs. Korea Republic (Group H)
High energy and speed make Korea Republic a matchup nightmare for slower teams that rely on fresh legs in the latter portion of matches. When the opposition gets lax, Korea Republic can turn it on in a hurry. This leads to quick goals.
Son Heung-min, 21, already has five international goals under his belt. He's a guy this team can rely on in any situation, even given his young age. Russia must keep eyes on him throughout the entirety of the match.
As hosts of the 2018 World Cup, Russia must make a statement in Brazil. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev will be the X-factor for Russia on Day 6. It will be up to him to stop the lightning-quick attack of Korea Republic, even if his defense lets him down with slow reactions.
This one could go either way, but I'm taking the speed of Korea Republic.
Prediction: Korea Republic 2, Russia 1
Brazil vs. Mexico (Group A)
The winner of this match will advance to the next round, as each team currently owns three points after earlier victories.
Neymar netted two goals against Croatia when it appeared as if the rest of the team had problems getting things started, but the host nation still came away with the 3-1 victory. It wasn't impressive, but a win is a win. It will be interesting to see how Brazil handle the overwhelming pressure of the home crowd against a much better team than Croatia.
Mexico played very well against Cameroon. They controlled the tempo of the 1-0 game, and while it was a close result, Mexico were the far better team. Oribe Peralta netted the game-winner, and I expect him to make his presence felt against Brazil as well.
While both teams are great competitors, I'll have to go with Brazil on Day 6. They should be able to overcome some very evident jitters from Day 1 of the tournament.
Prediction: Brazil 2, Mexico 1