World Cup 2014: Day six — open thread

Paolo Bruno

Give me a B! Give me an ELGIUM!

Day Six is upon us, friends. Congratulations to our American readers on finally overcoming the Ghanaians at the third attempt. Commiserations, naturally, to the Ghanaians. And a large and collective sigh in the direction of Iran and Nigeria, who managed to deliver the first genuinely rubbish game of the tournament. Nice one, Carlos.

(No shut up you predicted that Germany would be rubbish.)

Today's games

Belgium vs. Algeria, Belo Horizonte, 12:00 ET/17:00 UK

And so Group H, the final group, gets underway. In the red corner, Belgium, who have a ridiculously talented squad and are by general acclamation the darkest of the dark horses. In the white corner, meanwhile, Algeria, who have a fairly decent chance of tripping the horse over at the first hurdle.

Brazil vs. Mexico, Fortaleza, 15:00 ET/20:00 UK

For some reason, probably television related, the second round of Group A fixtures begins before the first round of Group H fixtures ends. Which is obviously the worst thing that Sepp Blatter has ever done. Still, this should be a fun game: Mexico can't defend but love attacking, which suits everybody.

Russia vs. South Korea, Cuiaba, 18:00 ET/23:00 UK

Last to get underway, nobody seems to be talking about Fabio Capello's Russia doing anything of much. Yet the horror that was England in South Africa 2010 is very much the exception to his record, and Russia have a considerable weight of talent in their squad. They'll need a decent start against South Korea, whose form in recent friendlies has been pretty limp.

Today's United connections

Today, all United fans are Belgians, which is handy as it doesn't require a change of nickname. No, not because of Marouane Fellaini, but because of the beautiful, wonderful, admirable, delightful, arousing Adnan Januzaj. Marc Wilmots allowing, United's great hope may make his (second) debut this evening. Thank God he signed that new contract, eh?

Also of note is Thomas Vermaelen, who has been heavily linked to United in the last couple of days. He's likely to start alongside Vincent Kompany at the back. Elsewhere, nothing much. Javier Hernandez will likely again be on the bench for Mexico, after failing to make much of an impression against Cameroon.

Other stuff

Following yesterday's games, here's Graham MacAree on Portugal being dreadful, and Andi Thomas, whoever he is, on football violence and why it can be so funny. Today's previews are also up: Jack Sargeant on Brazil-Mexico and Belgium-Algeria, and Kevin McCauley on Russia-South Korea.

Also, there is a quite remarkable amount of post-USA victory stuff on SBN. Here's ten very thoughtful points on the win, here's a piece in praise of Jermaine Jones, and here is a supercut video of fan reactions around the States. Stirring music. People losing their minds. It's got everything.

How do I watch?

In the UK, Belgium-Algeria is on ITV1, then the other two games are on BBC1. All will be available via their websites. In the USA, ESPN (and their various streaming options) has you covered, while Canadians will need to direct their eyes towards CBC. For other countries, check LiveSoccerTV.

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