Elimination has begun in the 2014 World Cup.
On Day 7, Spain and Australia earned their way out of the knockout round. On Day 8, teams in Group C and D can do the same.
Here are the schedule, odds and predictions for matches on Thursday, June 19, as well as the updated standings.
|12 p.m.||Colombia vs. Ivory Coast||ESPN||2-1|
|3 p.m.||Uruguay vs. England||ESPN||2-1|
|6 p.m.||Japan vs. Greece||ESPN||1-0|
Colombia vs. Ivory Coast
Odds: 23-20 Colombia, 279-100 Ivory Coast, 49-20 Draw
This should be one of the best matches in the World Cup thus far. No matter the outcome, both teams will likely advance to the knockout round thanks to winnable follow-up matchups against Japan and Greece. But the winner will put itself in perfect position to clinch the first seed in Group C.
Only nine teams entered the World Cup with better odds to win than Colombia. Eighteen entered with better odds than Ivory Coast. On paper, Colombia is the superior team.
However, despite playing an inferior opponent in its opening match, Colombia didn't impress in its time of possession and shots on goal as much as Ivory Coast did. Colombia also scored its third goal in garbage time.
It will be difficult for either to find an edge.
Uruguay vs. England
Odds: 57-50 England, 67-25 Uruguay, 129/50 Draw
Luis Suarez is back. But his teammates put together one of the most disappointing performances of the World Cup in their opener. No one outside of Costa Rica imagined Costa Rica could beat Uruguay by the score of 3-1.
England didn't win its opening match either. But it only lost 2-1 to the Group D favorite, Italy. Given that it actually won shots on goal 8-5, it's fair to say England could've easily forced a draw at least.
England and Uruguay enter with similar odds to advance to the knockout round, and neither can suffer another loss. The question is, will the addition of Suarez outweigh England's superior play thus far? The answer will likely be no.
Japan vs. Greece
Odds: 5-4 Japan, 253-100 Greece, 243/100 Draw
Like Uruguay and England, Japan's and Greece's backs are against the wall. If either loses, it is eliminated.
It isn't like Greece had much of a chance anyway, entering with only 9-1 odds to win Group C. But Japan isn't incapable of sneaking in. Its odds are slim after losing to Ivory Coast, but it's far from eliminated, especially if it wins on Thursday.
While Greece couldn't put a single dent in the scoreboard, Japan actually led Ivory Coast for 48 minutes. This match could end up in a draw due to both team's lack of firepower, but a slight Japan victory is more likely.
|4||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0||-1||1||0||0||1||1||2|
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.