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June 21, 2014
 

DAY 10 BOOTROOM: Safe for Weekend Edition

Can you believe it has only been ten days? We’ve reached just the second weekend of the tournament and already we’ve had what seems like a whole World Cup full of goals, upsets, and excitement. And bewbz. Don’t forget those.

Day ten features three matches that appear pretty clear-cut on paper. But, in a tournament that’s been anything but straightforward, you really can’t take your eyes off the action. It’s a beautiful day outside, you say? OK then. Crack a cold beer and open a damn window. The WORLD CUP is on!

Football loves you.

Football loves you.

Personally I’m still reeling a bit from the Azzurri’s defeat at the hands of the mighty Ticos. My German wife’s side takes the field mid-afternoon to try and restore order to our household. This after Messi and company take the field at Noon against Iran while Nigeria take on Bosnia-Herzegovina for the nightcap. Personally I’m not seeing any surprises today, but that’s why they’re called surprises, right?

Nothing wrong with having to use a little imagination.

Nothing wrong with having to use a little imagination.

12:00 – Argentina v. Iran

Argentina are another pre-tournament favorite that started slowly but managed to squeak out a win in their opening match. Some help from Messi and our old pal OG managed to get our old pal BG’s side past late Bosnian pressure. The Barcelona star is the danger man as always but there is certainly a question over who his strike partner should be. Aguero’s skill is unquestioned but he had a lackluster game next to Messi. Higuain did little to distinguish himself when he came on either though. Decisions, decisions for Sabella.

Iran stayed compact to hold on for a 0-0 draw with Nigeria but organization alone is not going to secure them a point against Argentina. If they invite Lionel and friends to attack, attack they will and if Iran are forced to open up, look out.

I can only see one result in this one, despite Argentina’s unconvincing opener. 3-0 to La Albiceleste.

Nice cups.

Nice cups.

3:00 – Germany v. Ghana

Ghana need a result against Germany, something they desperately wanted to avoid. But their loss to the USMNT puts them under real pressure and the Black Stars are going to have to go for it. They may be encouraged by the injury to Mats Hummels, one of the Germans’ standout performers against Portugal. EDIT: Looks like Hummels starts after all. There’s a real chance we’ll see some Boateng-on-Boateng crime in this match if Kevin-Prince starts the match over Jordan Ayew, while Schweinsteiger looks set to return for Die Mannschaft, who have been absolutely rampant. They’ve scored at least 3 goals in each of their last 9 matches going back through qualifying. With Ghana needing to attack, and a Milan pairing in front of the defense (let me tell you, yikes) the German counter-attack is something to be feared.

Ghana are not a pushover and they took the fight to the USA for large portions of their opener, but if they couldn’t break through a German-coached American side, I don’t expect them to break down a German-coached German side. 3-1 and a happy wife for me.

Nothing wrong with using a lot of imagination either.

Nothing wrong with using a lot of imagination either.

6:00 – Nigeria v. Bosnia-Herzegovina

We’ve seen a lot of Nigeria recently and I have to say I am not impressed with the most recent African Champions. They’ve got a ton of EPL experience and a solid goalkeeper, but they haven’t looked a real threat in any of the matches I’ve seen. They’ll have to turn that around quickly against a hungy Bosnia-Herzegovina side which must feel that these next two matches are theirs for the taking. Perhaps a bit unlucky against the Argies, the Bosnians have the power and possession ability to give the Nigerians fits. I’d expect goalscorer Ibisevic to break into the starting lineup alongside Dzeko this time and the Serie A based tandem of Lulic and Pjanic will pull the strings from midfield.

I’ll back Nigeria to finally hit the net in this one, but Bosnia-Herzegovina to take all three points. 1-2 in a physical affair.

Game on!

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