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2018 World Cup Day 5, Group stage: Match thread and discussion

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The antidote for a case of the Monday’s

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England v Nigeria - International Friendly Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The first four days of the World Cup group stage have not disappointed, Sunday brought another slate of intriguing games and results including an upset victory by Mexico over the mighty Germans and an active 1-1 draw between Switzerland and Brazil. That will be put to the test on Monday however as two of the teams which seem the most prone to disappointment will be taking the field.

The first game of the day will see Sweden taking on South Korea in a game that both likely need to win if they are going to have any chance of advancing given Mexico’s upset win over German on Sunday. South Korea will be led by Tottenham striker Son and looking to avoid a repeat of 2014 when they were pelted with candy as an insult on their return home from Brazil having earned only a single point. Meanwhile Sweden advanced through the UEFA qualifying stages by topping the Netherlands on goal differential (coming in second in their group to France) and then defeating Italy in a playoff to make the 2018 World Cup.

The second game will see Belgium facing Tunisia with Belgium will be looking to keep their golden generation from turning to fools gold. The side could not make it out of the quarterfinals in Brazil in 2014, nor past the same stage at the UEFA European Championship in 2016. Given their talent level anything short of the semi-finals will be considered a disappointment. Meanwhile Panama, who made the tournament ahead of a certain team that we might be more familiar with in these parts, have set their lofty sights on not being “the laughing stock of the World Cup”. Yes, that’s an actual quote, from their actual head coach.

In the “night-cap” perennial underachievers England will be looking to make it past the quarter finals for the first time since 1990, having crashed out without winning a game in 2014 (bet they didn’t get candy thrown at them!). Much like Belgium, there is a lot to like on paper, or at least a good deal of name recognition with the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, and Marcus Rashford. The Three Lions will be facing a Tunisia team that didn’t lose in qualifying but barely squeaked through to the finals regardless. The Eagles of Carthage will be looking for their first World Cup finals win since 1978 when they made history by becoming the first African team to win a World Cup match, beating Mexico 3-1. That’s right, Mexico lost in historic fashion!

How to Watch

Group F - Sweden vs. South Korea

Location: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod

Kick-off time: 8:00am Eastern, 5:00am Pacific

Available TV: FS1 (English), Telemundo (Spanish)

Available streaming: Fox Sports Go (App/Website), Telemundo (Website), FuboTV (Free Trial)

Group G - Belgium vs. Panama

Location: Fisht Stadium, Sochi

Kick-off time: 11:00am Eastern, 8:00am Pacific

Available TV: FS1 (English), Telemundo (Spanish)

Available streaming: Fox Sports Go (App/Website), Telemundo (Website), FuboTV (Free Trial)

Group G - Tunisia v England

Location: Volgograd Arena, Volgograd

Kick-off time: 2:00pm Eastern, 11:00am Pacific

Available TV: FS1 (English), Telemundo (Spanish)

Available streaming: Fox Sports Go (App/Website), Telemundo (Website), FuboTV (Free Trial)