World Cup 2014: Day Three - open thread

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Four games today, friends, yet none of them feature Louis van Gaal's merry entertainers. Doesn't seem fair, does it? But we struggle on.

Well, this is going well. How many times have you watched that Van Persie goal, then? Come one, we're all friends. Nobody's going to judge you if you've hit three figures.

Today's games

Colombia vs. Greece, Belo Horizonte, 12:00 ET/17:00 UK

Radamel Falcao's injury has seen Colombia downgraded from 'dark horse' to 'goth pony', but they've enough attacking talent to still mount an entertaining campaign. Except, of course, if Greece manage to smear themselves and their defensive, deeply cynical ways all over the game. Some people pretend not to like the Greeks

Uruguay vs. Costa Rica, Fortaleza, 15:00 ET/20:00 UK

Costa Rica are the Group D whipping boys, but while logic insists Uruguay should beat them comfortably, the absence through injury of Luis Suarez and the indifferent form of Edinson Cavani might lead to a slow start. Costa Rica's goalkeeper, Keylor Navas, is worth watching as he's excellent; their forward, Bryan Ruiz, is worth watching for his lovely hair.

England vs. Italy, Manaus, 18:00 ET/23:00 UK

It's been a raging chip-pan fire of a tournament so far, and here's the wet tea-towel. In the dripping humidity of the rainforest, it would be nice to hope that both teams will be inspired by the fun so far, decided 'sod it', and charge into things. But we suspect they'd both take a draw, and will play accordingly.

Ivory Coast vs. Japan, Recife, 21:00 ET/02:00 UK

Japan are your correspondent's nominated second team for the tournament, on the basis that they're great going forward and bobbins at the back. Ivory Coast, for their part, have a golden-ish generation in pursuit of one last hurrah. Could be an excellent game ... in front of which to fall asleep.

Today's United connections

No Colombians, no Greeks, no Costa Ricans, no Uruguayans. Except former curiosity Diego Forlan, who is getting on these days but could well see some game time. And then England. Rooney should start, in spite of everything, and Roy Hodgson is a paid-up member of the Welbz Is Dat Guy fan club, so if Danny's fit he'll likely be in as well. Jones and Smalling will be on the bench, bar injury. Then, later, a chance to watch Shinji Kagawa playing well for a team he enjoys. Imagine that.

Other stuff

As ever, SBN has you thoroughly covered. Your correspondent wrote this piece on Spain's remarkable collapse, and Callum and Jack wrote this and this ahead of England's opening game. Also worth a look is friend-of-TBB Kirsten Schlewitz on Croatia. Apparently they'd rather have won than been liked.

How do I watch?

In the UK, games one and three are on BBC1, while two and four are on ITV. All are available on their respective web players, though ITV have developed an annoying habit of scheduling maintenance right in the middle of games. Stop it, ITV.

In the US, everything's on ESPN3 (and streamable via Watch ESPN and Univision En Vivo), and in Canada on CBC. Anywhere else, have a look on LiveSoccerTV.

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