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2018 World Cup Day 13, Group stage: Match thread and discussion

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Will Lionel Messi lead Argentina back from the brink?

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Soccer: World Cup-Argentina vs Iceland Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Today is a huge day for teams in Group C and Group D of the 2018 World Cup. If we’re going to have the chaos that ensued in the final 10 minutes of yesterday, when Portugal, Spain, Iran and Morocco gave us all the theater that the World Cup deserves, then you might need to just go ahead and leave work now so that you’re at a bar or your home in time for the show.

In Group C, we have France taking on Denmark and Australia facing Peru. France has already advanced with 2 wins, but Denmark and Australia still have a chance to advance as well. Denmark needs any result to guarantee their spot in the 2nd round, while Australia needs to beat Peru and hope France beats Denmark and hope the goal totals are in their favor. Peru is the only team in Group C that is eliminated from contention:

France may rest some of its players for the next round, but Denmark and Australia will need to fight the entire time to secure its spot in the next round. Peru will be ending its World Cup tomorrow, but they have been an entertaining team to watch. They just haven’t hit the back of the net. They’re going to pull out all the stops to go out on a good note and give their adoring fans something to be proud of as they leave Russia.

Group D will be in the afternoon, and this is where the real main event will be. Croatia will square off against Iceland, while Nigeria will tango with Argentina. Croatia has already advanced to the 2nd round, but the rest of the group has a chance to join them. Iceland will need to beat Croatia with a lot of goals—who may rest some of their stars—and get some help. Nigeria just needs a draw to give them a good shot at advancing, but a win will be better:

Here’s where it gets interesting: Argentina, one of the favorites entering the tournament, needs a win by a lot of goals and then needs some help from Croatia. No doubt, Argentina captain Lionel Messi and the rest of the squad have faced the pressure, the turmoil over their coaching situation, and really just have the entire country holding their breath. They may have made the World Cup final 4 years ago and won 2 of them in the past, but this feels like it could be viewed as one of the most important matches in Argentina’s storied history. Will Messi carry this team to the 2nd round? Or will he and the rest of the team experience an epic failure at the hands of the Super Eagles?

How to watch

Group C - Australia vs. Peru

Location: Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi

Kick-off time: 10:00am Eastern, 7:00am Pacific

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

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

Group C - Denmark vs. France

Location: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

Kick-off time: 10:00am Eastern, 7:00am Pacific

Available TV: Fox (English), NBC Universo (Spanish)

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

Group D - Nigeria vs. Argentina

Location: Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg

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)

Group D - Iceland vs. Croatia

Location: Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don

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

Available TV: FS1 (English), NBC Universo (Spanish)

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


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