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2018 World Cup Day 9, Group stage: Match thread and discussion

Round two gets interesting

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Argentina v Iceland: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images

One of the most anticipated storylines of the World Cup was if Lionel Messi would cement his legacy as the best player of all time by winning the biggest tournament in his sport. It seems like that may be floating away softly from him, like a shanked pass off of the boot of Willy Caballero.

Aside from Argentina being on the brink of elimination, yesterday offered a glimpse of a France team that is very talented, but generally boring - signaling to everyone that are contenders since that’s how this works - beating Peru 1-0 and knocking them out.

Denmark took an early 1-0 lead against Australia, but VAR came through for the Socceroos and the game ended 1-1. Denmark are in a good spot to go through with Australia needing a win and some help in their next match.

On for today is Brazil vs. Costa Rica. In 2014, Costa Rica was an underdog squad lead by a team that perfectly executed the offside trap. It was a thing to behold. Their 1-0 loss to Serbia didn’t quite get the tournament off to the start they would have wanted and facing a Brazil side that will be looking to show why they’re considered favorites to win the tournament by some will be a difficult test for them. Brazil may be without Neymar who was hobbling around after every Swiss player kicked him in the shins in their 1-1 opener against the Alpine country.

Next will be Nigeria vs. Iceland in a match that features the Smiters vs. the Super Eagles. Aside from featuring the Blóðugur upp að öxlum Iceland kit vs. the (please FIFA, let them wear it) best jersey in tournament from Nigeria, this should be an entertaining game. Iceland gets a bit of a reputation of being a team that bunkers and counters, but they can open things up as they showed against Argentina and should this turn into an open match, Nigeria will for sure give them a game.

Rounding out the day will be Serbia taking on Switzerland. The Serbian team lead Group E after their win over Costa Rica and will be looking to stamp their ticket to the next round with a win, thus avoiding a possibly decisive game against Brazil. The Swiss managed to draw with Brazil by focusing on shutting down Neymar and a win for them would in turn set up a potentially fascinating final day in the group.

How to watch

Group E - Brazil vs. Costa Rica

Location: Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg

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 D - Nigeria vs. Iceland

Location: Volgograd Arena, Volgograd

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

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

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

Group E - Serbia vs. Switzerland

Location: Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad

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

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

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

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