It’s Day 4 of the 2014 World Cup. Through the tournament’s first eight games we haven’t seen a draw. In those games 28 goals have been scored, a 3.5 per match average — significantly up from the 2.27 per match in 2010.
Switzerland vs. Ecuador (Group E), 12 p.m. (ABC, Adrian Healey and Alejandro Moreno)
If you’re a fan of lazy Sunday mornings/afternoons or have Father’s Day plans, this match is imminently skippable –unless you have ties to either nation involved. Switzerland is solid and has plenty of emerging talents, but they’ve been fairly dull over the last few tournaments they’ve participated in, scoring only five goals over its last seven World Cup matches. Perhaps guys like Xherdan Shaqiri, Haris Seferović, Josip Drmić change those impressions.
Almost everybody is penciling in France and Switzerland to advance from Group E. Winning the group is huge, since second place likely means Argentina in the Round of 16.
France vs. Honduras (Group E) 3 p.m. (ABC, Daniel Mann and Kasey Keller)
Can France find a way to self-implode and screw this up? Honduras is arguably the weakest team in the tournament, despite CONCACAF’s early success in Brazil with Mexico and Costa Rica. Reports are that unlike in 2010, Les Bleus camp is united and harmonious.
It sounds almost seems to good to be true. At least Antoine Griezmann is making the most of his opportunity after the injury to Franck Ribery. Although it’s not quite the player revolt of 2010, France manager Didier Deschamps claims a drone was spying on his team’s practice this week. Fun.
Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina (Group F) 6 p.m. (ESPN, Derek Rae and Roberto Martinez)
A week ago this looked like it would be one of the highest-scoring games of the tournament. Both teams love to attack, but have changed gears a little bit over the last couple days. Bosnia has tried to be a little more defensive in the pre-World Cup warmup games, playing only one striker — Edin Dzeko.
Even so, this is a must watch with the Lionel Messi-Sergio Aguero-Gonzalo Higuain trident leading the line for Argentina. That lineup is hold with Huguain out today, so we could see La Albiceleste shift to five defenders.
Many, including myself, have picked Argentina to win the tournament. We know it’s offense at times can be unstoppable, Bosnia — playing its its first World Cup match — will provide a great test to see if its sometimes suspect defense is up to snuff.