Crunch Time: part 1

Original Footy takes a brief look at the group matches for teams who have everything to play for and offer our opinion on who will come out on top. In this part we survey the teams from groups A through to D

Group A: Monday 9pm
Cameroon vs Brazil & Croatia vs Mexico

Remarkably, if results go against them Brazil could crash out of the World cup tonight. Should Croatia and Mexico draw and Brazil lose to Cameroon then it will be the Mexicans and Croatians that negotiate their way out of the group. However, it would be a major shock if Brazil don’t at least register a draw against the Cameroonians and, therefore, should find there way through and will most probably top the group. The other match is much tougher to call. Croatia need to find a win to guarantee qualification to the last 16 whereas Mexico need only a point to qualify. Both sides have had a decent tournament so far but I think Croatia will just about edge it. Expect a close game, though.

Brazil should win group A

Brazil should win group A

Group B: Monday 5pm
Netherlands vs Chile

With both Spain and Australia already knocked out, the winners of the group will be decided by the outcome of this match. Given the Netherlands superior goal difference, they only need a draw to get through and they should achieve that. Expect lots of goals and a great game but the Netherlands to top the group.

Van Gaal's side only need a draw to finish first in the group and avoid a likely last 16 clash with Brazil

Van Gaal’s side only need a draw to finish first in the group and avoid a likely last 16 clash with Brazil

Group C: Tuesday 9pm
Greece vs Ivory Coast & Japan vs Colombia

Only the Colombians have secured their passage to the last 16 so the remaining 3 sides in the group will battle it out to determine who will join them. Astonishingly, Greece are still in the tournament despite having been one of the worst sides to have played in Brazil this summer. If they manage to beat the Ivory Coast and Japan don’t beat Colombia then they will join the Colombians in the next round. Japan, on the other hand, need to beat Colombia and hope that the Ivory Coast don’t beat the Greeks to ensure progress in the tournament. However, qualification is the Ivory Coast’s to lose and it’s hard to see Greece beating them and Japan beating Colombia so expect the Elephants to qualify behind the Colombians.

Could the Greeks amaze the footballing world, beat the Ivory coast and qualify for the last 16?

Could the Greeks amaze the footballing world, beat the Ivory coast and qualify for the last 16?

Group D: Tuesday 5pm
Italy vs Uruguay & Costa Rica vs England

Costa Rica have secured qualification and need only a draw against England, who have already been knocked out, to top the group and earn a likely next round match up against the Ivory Coast. The result in the match between Italy and Uruguay will determine who qualifies with the Costa Ricans. Italy have the superior goal difference and only need a draw to reach the next round and have enough experience to suggest that they will be able to improve from their dismal display against Costa Rica and manage to earn the draw they require. Expect a tight game, one that is really too close to call, but Italy to scrape through and earn the draw they require.

Pirlo and the Italians will need to use all their tournament know-how to qualify for the last 16 alongside Costa Rica

Pirlo and the Italians will need to use all their tournament know-how to qualify for the last 16 alongside Costa Rica

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