World Cup 2014: Day 6 preview - Spotlight on Brazil, Belgium

Neymar and Dani Alves warm up during their team's training session at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza

World Cup 2014: Today in pictures

It is Match Day 6 at the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Here's a preview of the three matches.

USA's Clint Dempsey scored the fifth quickest goal against Ghana while Thomas Muller scored a hattrick to sink Portugal. The World Cup is nothing short but amazing!

Today, three games will be played and all eyes will be on the Brazil vs Mexico tie at Estadio Castelao. Belgium vs Algeria will also be interesting because Belgium is back after a 12-year hiatus.

Here is the preview for Match Day 6.

Brazil vs Mexico

Can Brazil get their second win of the tournament or will Mexico surprise the home side to top Group A? Brazil certainly had the first game jitters against Croatia but many will be expecting the Brazilians to feel more relaxed when they play at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. However, they shouldn’t feel relaxed against the tricky Mexicans. Under Miguel Herrera, Mexico has looked comfortable with the ball and their attackers have been reliable. Brazil led by their mercurial forward Neymar will be the favourites in this match and Luiz Felipe Scolari will surely find the right tactics to sink the Aztecas. Brazil will be without Hulk for this match after he suffered an injury during training. Either Bernard or Willian is set to deputise for the 27-year-old forward. There are not many changes to the Brazilian side from the one that played Croatia. Julio Cesar is set to don the gloves for the Selecaos. David Luiz and Thiago Silva will be the centre-backs for Brazil but they will have to up their performance against the Mexicans. As for Mexico, Guillermo Ochoa is set to retain his place in goal and he will be protected by the likes of Hector Moreno, Francisco Rodriguez and Rafael Marquez. Miguel Layun and Paul Aguilar will burst down the flanks and help the likes of Andres Guardado and Giovanni Dos Santos. Hector Herrera and Jose Juan Vazquez will be the central midfielders and Oribe Peralta will complete the line-up by being the centre-forward.

If you pit player against player, Brazil has the upperhand but Mexico has looked impressive and they will want to surprise the Brazilians who are favoured to win this tournament. Estadio Castelao is in for a cracking match but the Brazilians will want to win this game at all cost. I’m going for a 3-1 win for Brazil!

Belgium vs Algeria

Belgium last played in the World Cup in 2002 when their coach Marc Wilmots was one of the key players of that Red Devil side. After 12 years, Belgium is back on the big stage and this time, they've got a very talented squad! From defence to attack, all the players under Wilmots’ disposal are regulars with their clubs in Europe and they were part of the successful qualifying campaign. They won eight out of the 10 matches in a tough qualifying group and the current side is touted to be the underdogs of the tournament. Against Algeria, many will be expecting this side to humble the North African team who had to scrape through in the final Africa qualification round. For his match, Thibault Courtois is set to start in goal with Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld forming the four-man backline. Kompany will captain this talented Belgian side and teams will surely have a tough time going past the Manchester City centre-back. Axel Witsel and Marouane Fellaini both known for their afro-hairstyle will be the pivots and they will be tasked to protect the backline and also help out in set-pieces. Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Kevin Mirallas will form the attacking trident and they will be tasked to score goals and also provide ammunition for young centre-forward Romelu Lukaku. Algeria under the tutelage of Vahid Halihodzic will have it tough against Belgium with the squad he has. They have players who ply their trade in Europe but these players, when it comes to international tournaments, don’t seem to have the swagger to bring Algeria to another level. Mohamed Zemmamouche who plays for Algerian club USM Alger will be the first choice goalkeeper for the Fennec Foxes. Algeria is set to play a five-man midfield with one man upfront. Mehdi Lacen and Nabil Bentaleb will be the pivots while Soufiane Feghouli, Saphir Taider and Hassan Yebda will be the ones creating chances for Islam Slimani who plies his trade with Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon. 

It will be one-sided match thanks to Belgium’s talented players and Wilmots will know that a win will boost the confidence of the Red Devils. Belgium looks set to win their game at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte 3-0.

Russia vs Korea Republic

Fabio Capello’s Russia is a very organised squad and many analyst would see the Russians trouncing the inexperienced South Koreans. As an Asian, I would love to see an Asian side win in the opening week. So far Japan has lost while Iran drew in a dull match against Nigeria. Can Korea pull off a surprise? Hong Myung-bo was with the successful 2002 World Squad and after 12 years ago, he is leading his young charges in Brazil. Can he repeat that feat again as coach? Their midfield is pretty strong with the likes of Ki Sung-yeung, Park Jong-woo, Lee Chung-young and Koo Ja-cheol. Son Heung-min, who had a stellar season with Bayer Leverkusen, will be the main man in attack and he will be partnered with Park Chu-young. Igor Akinfeev, who has been the mainstay for the Russian squad for many years will be the man behind the sticks. Alan Dzagoev and Yury Zhirkov can be a joy to watch and the Korean defence will have to be alert when facing them. Alexander Kerzhakov may be 31-years-old already but his predatory instincts are still intact. Russia will surely be relying on him for goals and inspiration.

Will Capello’s experience triumph Myung-bo’s young charges? I have to be realistic, It will be hard to see Korea winning this game but I see them holding the mighty Russians to a 2-2 score.

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FIFA , World Cup 2014


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