Man, I don't know about you guys, but I'm still coming down from the second half of Belgium - Algeria (Dries! Dries! Dries!) followed by the thriller of Brazil 0-0 Mexico.
And if you think I'm being sarcastic, you obviously didn't see that goalless draw yesterday. It's one to point to when non-soccer fans whine about soccer not being high-scoring enough. Who cares about goals? That was pure entertainment. Plus, some Premier League team is now going to desperately overpay for Memo Ochoa and we can all laugh.
Now, we go into the second round with high hopes, especially for Group B. Will Holland manage ten against Australia? Will Spain get their revenge on innocent Chile? Just how boring will Cameroon be in the heat of Manaus?
Which match are you most looking forward to tonight?
|Australia vs. Netherlands||B||Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre||6 p.m./ noon|
|Spain vs. Chile||B||Estádio Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro||9 p.m./ 3 p.m.|
|Cameroon vs. Croatia||A||Arena Amazônia, Manaus||midnight/ 6 p.m.|
Any Napoli players involved?
Depends on how you define Napoli players. Pepe Reina almost certainly isn't one anymore, but he could see some action, with David De Gea injured and Iker Casillas being, well, Iker Casillas.
Then there's Edu Vargas, who's technically on Napoli's books but looks unlikely to ever play for them again. Perhaps the best thing to do is hope he keeps impressing, so he can be sold on for a large chunk of money that then goes to bringing in a competent right back.
What should I keep an eye on?
*Chile's lack of center-backs. They're pretty much saying, "who gives a fuck about defending?" which is more or less the tagline for the entire tournament. Perhaps Napoli should embrace the same attitude.
*Daley Blind. A certain writer remains unanamored with the Dutch defender, but the rest of us have a big fat crush on him. And if both Camilo Zúñiga and Pablo Armero take off this summer, Napoli could use a competent backup to Faouzi Ghoulam.
*Croatia's attack. With both Brazil and Mexico on four points, Croatia need to go flat out for their next two games. They may as well throw everything they've got at Cameroon, whose backline should fold like a house of cards. Particularly since Mario Mandžukić is back from suspension.
How do I watch these games?
In Italy? You're on SkyGO or Sky Mondiale. In the US it's ESPN in English and Univision in Spanish, and both have online streaming platforms, while Canadians friends have CBC and the CBC Sports player. In the UK you can watch ITV for the first match and BBC One for the rest of the day, or use the ITV or BBC players online. If you live elsewhere, check LiveSoccerTV for listings in your country.