FIFA World Cup

World Cup 2014: Fixtures, Match Odds, Predictions, Latest Standings for Day 6

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Neymar of Brazil takes a penalty kick during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2014

By the end of Tuesday, all 32 FIFA World Cup participants will have at least one completed match in the ledger.

Group H will become the last quadrant to make their 2014 World Cup debut, lacing up for the first time on Tuesday with Belgium facing Algeria and Russia taking on the Korea Republic. While squads from Group A-G have all knocked one fixture out of the way, these Group H clubs all enjoy a fresh slate filled with endless possibilities.

Meanwhile, Brazil and Mexico will return to the pitch in a battle of the Group A favorites to advance. The hosting nation will yet again have a vivacious crowd on their side as they look to gain sole possession atop of the group leaderboard.

2014 FIFA World Cup Standings
PosTeamPtsGD
Group A
1Brazil32
2Mexico31
3Cameroon0-1
4Croatia0-2
Group B
1Netherlands34
2Chile32
3Australia0-2
4Spain0-4
Group C
1Colombia33
2Ivory Coast31
3Japan0-1
4Greece0-3
Group D
1Costa Rica32
2Italy31
3England0-1
4Uruguay0-2
Group E
1France33
2Switzerland31
3Ecuador0-1
4Honduras03
Group F
1Argentina31
2Iran10
3Nigeria10
4Bosnia-Herzegovina0-1
Group G
1Germany34
2United States31
3Ghana0-1
4Portugal0-4
Group H
1Belgium00
2Algeria00
3Russia00
4Korea Republic00
FIFA.com

Here is a look at all matches set for what should be an eventful Day 6.

Day 6 Schedule
MatchupTime (ET)TV
Belgium vs. Algeria12 p.m.ESPN
Brazil vs. Mexico3 p.m.ESPN
Russia vs. Korea Republic6 p.m.ESPN
FIFA.com

 

Belgium vs. Algeria

Odds: Algeria +989, Belgium -291, Draw +450

 

Ranked 48th four years ago, Belgium have matured into a global force since the last World Cup, now entering the tournament at No. 11 in the FIFA world rankings. After failing to qualify for the last two events, they're now the favorite in a manageable Group H.

The team revolves around a vicious attack that guts through the heart of opposing defenses. Romelu Lukaku, who compiled 15 goals through 29 Premier League fixtures for Everton, will look to set the framework for the Belgians. Don't count on the 21-year-old striker fearing the moment.

“I love pressure, I embrace it,” Lukaku said in a Reuters report, via The Guardian“If you are scared of pressure then you cannot play well.”

HULL, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Romelu Lukaku (R) of Everton celebrates his goal with Aidan McGeady of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Everton at KC Stadium on May 11, 2014 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Imag
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

He'll have plenty of help with a swarming midfield led by Eden Hazard, the 23-year-old Chelsea star who completed 83.9 percent of his passes in Premier League and Champions League play this season, per WhoScored.

Look for Algeria, who have not scored a World Cup goal since 1986, to play conservatively in hopes of preserving a low-scoring affair. They'll have to bully Belgium's swifter attack, knowing a high-flying affair will bode poorly for them, but don't expect their old-school style to pay off against the young, fiery Red Devils.

Prediction: Belgium 3, Algeria 0

 

Brazil vs. Mexico

Odds: Mexico +875, Brazil -275, Draw+472

Each squad took care of business in their opening fixtures, with Brazil toppling Croatia in front of the ecstatic home crowd while Mexico managed three points over Cameroon, despite Giovani dos Santos losing a pair of goals due to questionable offside penalties.

The Selecao defend their home turf with pride, having won their last 38 matches in Brazil. They also fare well against Mexico in World Cup play, sweeping their three matches at an aggregate score of 11-0. History is on the favorite's side

For their standards, Thursday's opening 3-1 victory over Croatia was nothing too impressive. They controlled possession for a modest 58 percent of the fixture and compiled 14 shot attempts to Croatia's 10. 

Neymar, however, provided individual brilliance with two goals. Mexico won't be able to rest on their heels with the 22-year-old star wreaking havoc and creating space for Oscar and Fred. 

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Neymar of Brazil celebrates after scoring his second goal on a penalty kick in the second half during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Mexico will need another incredible performance from striker Oribe Peralta, who put El Tri on the board with a winner over Cameroon. While the 30-year-old is up to the task, Brazil features too much firepower to derail on their soil.

Prediction: Brazil 3, Mexico 2

 

Russia vs. Korea Republic

Odds: Korea Republic +375, Russia -116, Draw+269

Russia and South Korea won't offer the star power of most other matchups, nor is either club considered a legitimate threat to inflict much damage past the group stage. Yet their fixture is an exciting opportunity for each squad to start the tournament with three points.

While South Korea has qualified for each of the past eight World Cups, they passed the group stage twice, including a fourth-place finish when they played as the home team in 2002. Russia, on the other hand, earned a World Cup appearance for the first time since 2002. They'll look to stamp a ticket to the knockout stage for the first time.

South Korea is coming off a 4-0 loss to Ghana in a warm-up game that made them look ice cold, but Russia has not lost any of their last 10 matches. Fabio Capello's club doesn't boast many marquee names with injured captain Roman Shirokov sidelined, but the manager will hope that 23-year-old Aleksandr Kokorin becomes one after posting four goals in eight qualifying fixtures.

The battle for possession will dictate how Tuesday's final match plays out. Although neither side would relish a draw, a consolation point allows both of them to live another day in their quest to make it out of Group H.

Prediction: Russia 1, Korea Republic 1

 

Note: All odds are courtesy of Odds Shark

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