World Cup Predictions Group E-H by Dan Smith
Germany 2-0 Costa Rica
Unless Japan beat Spain, a win over Costa Rica should be enough for Germany to advance to the knockout stages.
Given they were approx. 7 minutes away from being knocked out of the tournament on Sunday it could have been a lot worse.
They can build on the resilience they displayed in their 1-1 draw.
Niclas Fullkrug could be their answer to Italia 90’s Schillaci?
The weekend was a more realistic reflection on how organised Costa Rica can be compared to what they did against Span.
They will set up defensively again and play for the point which would be enough if Spain beat Japan
The quicker the Germans break the dead lock the more comfortable the evening.
A victory by a 2-goal margin is required if the other fixture in this group ends in a draw.
Spain 2-1 Japan
It seems harsh that Japan could in theory take 4 points off 2 European heavy weights and still get eliminated.
That’s why their defeat to Costa Rica was such a missed opportunity, with them not comfortable in the position of favourites and the expectation of taking the initiative.
Back in the familiar role of underdogs it will be fascinating how they approach this game.
They could play for a draw but what happens if they hear Germany have a 2-goal advantage elsewhere?
Once they hear Costa Rica are being comfortably beaten Spain can play without pressure.
Morocco 2 – 2 Canada
Morocco have done well to get 4 points out of the previous World Cups runners up and third place team.
It would be ironic if they blew qualification by not getting a result against the lowest seeds left in their group.
Yet if things had gone differently (if they were prolific) Canada could easily have been in contention for a place in the knockout stages.
They leave Qatar having made many friends, and something tells me this is just the start for that nation.
A point is the least they deserve for their efforts, and given what I think will be happening elsewhere in this group, Morocco won’t be in be in need of a result anyway.
Croatia 2-0 Belgium
As expected, two generations where age is creeping up on them.
One though still uses their experience to get results, the other looks leggy.
Of all the teams to get a win at this World Cup Belgium were the most fortunate.
Yet for all the negativity, their fate is still in their own hands and it’s not like they don’t have players who have never dealt with pressure.
It’s just there has been zero signs of Belgium doing what they would need to do to beat Croatia.
Lukaku isn’t fit, you could argue neither is Hazard while De Bruyne has been critical of the entire squad
Brazil 3-1 Cameroon
Compared to other Brazil managers Tite is fairly conservative but with qualification sealed and a chance to give fringe players a chance, I wonder if he will let his team express themselves against Cameroon?
The Lions have to win and in the second half against Serbia went all out attack.
This could be you play; we play.
Will be entertaining, but Cameroon’s defence won’t cope with Brazil’s attack.
The Brazilians attacking options off the bench walk into other elevens
Switzerland 0-1 Serbia
The Swiss are one of the best at protecting what they have.
Once they hear Brazil are beating Cameroon, they will play for a 0-0 draw.
I just sense Mitrovic will nick a late winner.
Ghana 2-1 Uruguay
Like a few players, this tournament seems one too many for famous names like Suarez and Cavani.
Uruguay’s manager needs to make big decisions as he must attack and chase a win, something he hasn’t tried to do in the other two fixtures where the South Americans were conservative.
Given his history against them, it’s set up for Suarez to break their hearts again.
Or maybe his last ever World Cup match is Ghana’s revenge?
Portugal 1-1 S Korea
Even though they need a point to ensure they win the group, I think Portugal rest Ronaldo and a 39-year-old Pepe.
Once South Korea hear Ghana are winning this becomes a nothing game.
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