As the second week of 2014 World Cup action winds down, each team has now played at least two games, and we're beginning to see a clearer picture of which teams will be moving on to the knockout rounds.
Two groups have already been decided, with Brazil and Mexico moving on in Group A, and the Netherlands and Chile advancing in Group B. However, six other groups have yet to be fully decided.
Based on what each team has accomplished to this point, and with remaining scenarios taken into consideration, let's predict the outcome for Groups C through H.
Before we delve into the predictions, first take a look at the remaining schedule for the group stage to ensure not a moment of the action is missed.
|Date||Time (ET)||Team 1||Team 2||TV Info|
|June 24||12 p.m.||Italy||Uruguay||ESPN|
|12 p.m.||Costa Rica||England||ESPN2|
|5 p.m.||Greece||Ivory Coast||ESPN2|
|June 25||12 p.m.||Nigeria||Argentina||ESPN|
|June 26||12 p.m.||Portugal||Ghana||ESPN2|
|12 p.m.||United States||Germany||ESPN|
|4 p.m.||South Korea||Belgium||ESPN|
The full tournament schedule can be found at FIFA.com.
Sean O'Donnell's Predictions
Colombia has already secured a spot in the next round, and no matter the outcome of Colombia's match against Japan, it's highly unlikely the Ivory Coast will overcome its four-goal deficit to overtake them atop the group.
Both Japan and Greece have struggled to get anything going offensively, which will result in their departures from the tournament. Although, there's still plenty left to play for in Group C:
Costa Rica enters its third game having already advanced through the group stage. With its last game against England, it's highly unlikely either Italy or Uruguay will make up a three-goal differential with a win should Costa Rica lose.
Italy holds a goal difference and only needs a draw to advance. After losing their second game, the Italians will be out for blood here, and their tenacity will propel them into the knockout stages.
France won't be caught in Group E. A six-goal differential will be far too much for Ecuador to overcome against the talented group leaders. If France continues to play in its same dominant fashion, Switzerland has a great chance of overtaking Ecuador for second place should it defeat the struggling Honduras.
ESPN Stats & Info tweeted the remaining Group E scenarios:
Argentina has been extremely strong thus far and should have little trouble holding Nigeria to at least a draw to maintain the top spot in Group F. Iran has yet to score a goal in this year's World Cup and will not be able to make up the two-goal differential to overtake Nigeria for second.
Group G has certainly been the Group of Death this year, and the Americans have been surprisingly efficient. All the Americans need to do is force a draw against Germany for each team to advance. The way the Americans have been playing lately, that's not a stretch at all.
According to a tweet from MLS, the Americans are taking their upcoming match rather seriously:
Belgium has already secured a trip to the knockout stages after two thrilling Group H wins. Algeria currently sits second and only needs to force a draw with Russia to advance. The highly unpredictable Algerians should be able to accomplish at least that.