FIFA World Cup

World Cup Groups 2014: Updated Standings, Odds and Predictions for Day 6

Belgium’s Thomas Vermaelen,  from left to right, Toby Alderweireld, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Nicolas Lombaerts, run during a training session at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Monday, June 16, 2014.  Belgium will play in group H of the Brazil 2014 soccer World Cup.  (AP Photo/Bruno Magalhaes)
Bruno Magalhaes/Associated Press
Tim KeeneyContributor IJune 17, 2014

OK, World Cup, you might want to slow down a little bit. At this pace, half the world's population is going to suffer a heart attack watching you over the next month. 

Through 14 matches, there has been just one draw and 44 total goals. There have been transcendent team performances, amazing individual and team goals, dramatic comebacks and multiple matches decided in the final moments. 

On Monday, we got a little bit of everything. Iran vs. Nigeria turned into a bit of a snoozer, but Germany's world-class effort against Portugal and the United States' roller-coaster, instant-classic victory over a determined Ghana side more than made up for it. Unless you're from Portugal or Ghana, of course. 

This tournament seems to be getting better by the day, so let's take a look at what Tuesday has in store for an encore. 

 

Updated Standings

2014 World Cup Tables
Group A
TeamPWDLGDPts
Brazil110023
Mexico110013
Cameroon1001-10
Croatia100120
Group B
TeamPWDLGDPts
Netherlands110043
Chile110023
Australia1001-20
Spain1001-40
Group C
TeamPWDLGDPts
Colombia110033
Ivory Coast110013
Japan1001-10
Greece100130
Group D
TeamPWDLGDPts
Costa Rica110023
Italy110013
England1001-10
Uruguay1001-20
Group E
TeamPWDLGDPts
France110033
Switzerland110013
Ecuador1001-10
Honduras1001-30
Group F
TeamPWDLGDPts
Argentina110013
Iran101001
Nigeria101001
Bosnia and Herzegovina1001-10
Group G
TeamPWDLGDPts
Germany110043
United States110013
Ghana1001-10
Portugal1001-40
Group H
TeamPWDLGDPts
Belgium000000
Algeria000000
Russia000000
Korea Republic000000
As of matches played on June 16

 

Matchday 6 Fixtures, Odds and Predictions

2014 World Cup: Tuesday, June 17 Fixtures
Matchup (Odds)Draw OddsPrediction
Belgium (2-5) vs. Algeria (7-1)15-4Belgium, 3-1
Brazil (5-16) vs. Mexico (8-1)9-2Brazil, 3-1
Russia (10-11) vs. South Korea (3-1)13-5Draw, 1-1
FIFA.com/OddsShark.com

Note: Odds courtesy of Odds Shark

 

Most will look at the day's opening match and project a blowout. The Belgians are full to the brim with talent all over the pitch, from Eden Hazard to Romelu Lukaku to Marouane Fellaini to Vincent Kompany to Thibaut Courtois. Algeria, meanwhile, are short on household names and have just two players with 30 or more international caps. 

ZonalMarking.Net's Michael Cox warned against conventional thinking, though: 

Belgium's lack of full-backs can make them susceptible, and Algeria has exciting attacking options in Islam Slimani and El Arbi Hillel Soudani. Don't be surprised if Vahid Halilhodzic's team finds the back of the net. 

But that's as far as I'm willing to go with this prediction. Belgium simply have too much talent everywhere else. They have a good goalkeeper, strong center-backs, hard-working central midfielders and dangerously creative attackers. They will still control a majority of possession and grab three points. 

Up next is Brazil vs. Mexico. 

The hosts weren't convincing against Croatia in their opener, while El Tri was impressive against Cameroon, but don't get carried away with expectations. Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera, via ESPN's Tom Marshall, discussed the upcoming opponent: 

Mexico won't be afraid to come at Brazil, and this will turn into a wide-open, back-and-forth match. In that instance, Neymar, Oscar and Hulk—with overlapping runs from Marcelo and Dani Alveswill be too much for El Tri to handle. 

The final match is the most even. 

Russia is regarded as the better team, but without Roman Shirokov, they could struggle against South Korea's organization and speed on the outside. 

Ultimately, I'll go with the draw, but if we've learned anything through the first five days of this tournament, it's to expect the unexpected. 

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