Every match on Day 11 of the 2014 World Cup will likely be decided in the final minutes.
This is the most evenly matched trio of matches yet. Not a single team is a heavy favorite.
If there's a blowout, it would be surprising. If there isn't drama, it would be shocking.
Here are predictions for the Day 11 fixtures and how to watch them, as well as the updated standings going into the day.
|Day 11 Schedule|
|Noon||Belgium vs. Russia||ABC||1-1, Draw|
|3 p.m.||South Korea vs. Algeria||ABC||1-0, South Korea|
|6 p.m.||United States vs. Portugal||ESPN||2-1, United States|
Belgium vs. Russia
Odds: 20-21 Belgium, 23-10 Russia, 27-10 Draw
Belgium entered the World Cup favored to win Group H. However, after only winning by a goal over Algeria, which has the third-worst odds to win the tournament, Belgium is no sure bet for the first seed.
Neither is Russia, which couldn't avoid a draw against underdog South Korea. But Russia remains more than capable of advancing.
Few matches in the group stage should be tighter than this one. And it shouldn't be a snoozefest because both teams allowed subpar opponents to score. Expect these evenly matched teams to end deadlocked.
South Korea vs. Algeria
Odds: 20-21 South Korea, 23-10 Algeria, 237-100 Draw
Oddsmakers gave South Korea the same likelihood to win on Sunday as Belgium and gave Algeria the same likelihood to win as Russia. The chance of a draw is higher in this match, but there's also more on the line.
If Russia loses to Belgium, it can always bounce back by beating Algeria. If South Korea loses to Algeria, though, it'll enter its final match of the group stage against Belgium as a heavy underdog. (It'll likely be a heavy underdog either way.)
Fueled by desperation, South Korea should defeat Algeria in an almost must-win scenario. A draw would leave too much in the hands of Russia going into the third set of matches.
Portugal vs. United States
Odds: 41-91 Portugal, 7-2 United States, 63-20 Draw
Portugal is favored, but an upset would shock no one. After Portugal lost by the score of 4-0 to Germany on Day 5, the United States beat Ghana 2-1. Not only is the U.S. playing better, but it's significantly healthier.
According to ESPN, injuries will sideline forward Hugo Almeida, defender Fabio Coentrao and goalie Rui Patricio for Portugal. Defender Bruno Alves could also miss the game with an injury. And all this is after defender Pepe drew a red card against Germany that will make him sit out this one.
As if Portugal didn't have enough to overcome, Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing on an injured knee that, according to El Confidential (h/t NBC Sports), a doctor told him to “rest, or your future is in danger.” If Portugal wins, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise, but neither would be a U.S. upset, given the circumstances.
|4||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0||-2||2||0||0||2||1||3|
*All odds are according to Odds Shark.
David Daniels is columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.