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World Cup 2014: Day 14 - open thread

The penultimate day of World Cup group stage action will see Groups E and F settled.

Clive Rose

Wednesday sees the penultimate day of World Cup group stage action, in which the advancing teams from Group E and F will be settled. Amazingly, six of the eight teams to play today could still progress or be eliminated, hopefully giving us some sufficiently exciting games to distract us from the tension of waiting for Ander Herrera's transfer to be confirmed. Which it will be, right?

Today's games

Nigeria vs. Argentina, Porto Alegre, 12:00 ET/17:00 UK

Argentina are the only team in action who've already guaranteed their place in the knockout stages already, though they'll look to improve on their pretty sub-par performances to date against Nigeria. A point would guarantee they won the group, though defeat to the Super Eagles would see them fall to second, likely having to play France in the knockout stages. A draw would be good enough for Nigeria to progress in second place.

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Iran, Salvador, 12:00 ET/17:00 UK

Iran have been one of the stand-out teams at this World Cup, with their superb defensive organisation seeing them draw with Nigeria and come perilously close to taking the lead against Argentina, only to be defeated by a late Lionel Messi wondergoal. However, they need to score as well as defend well if they're to progress into the knockout stages. Only a win against eliminated Bosnia and a defeat for Nigeria would give them a chance of advancing.

Honduras vs. Switzerland, Manaus, 16:00 ET/21:00 UK

All four teams in Group E can still be eliminated or progress, though Honduras' situation is bleak. They're sat bottom of the group without a point, and need to beat Switzerland convincingly and hope Ecuador lose to France. It's not looking good. Switzerland, meanwhile, are behind second-placed Ecuador on goal difference alone, so bettering their result against France will be enough for them to progress.

Ecuador vs. France, Rio de Janeiro, 16:00 ET/21:00 UK

France currently sit top of their group, and though they're not yet mathematically into the next round, they may as well be. They're three points clear of Ecuador and Switzerland, and have a goal differential six better than anyone else's. Ecuador, meanwhile, are in second place, and need to match Switzerland's result against Honduras to progress alongside Les Bleus.

Today's United connections

Iran are, of course, coached by Carlos Queiroz, who was Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant at Old Trafford in a couple of spells between 2002 and 2008. His experiences as head coach at Real Madrid and Portugal didn't exactly go to plan, but he's found his niche at Iran, who he has coached to (almost) defensive perfection.

"He was so impressive I offered him the job straight away. He was the closest you could be to being the Manchester United manager without actually holding the title."

- Ferguson on Queiroz in his autobiography

And if you were wondering, he apparently still likes United, which is always nice:

"It’s not my old team, it’s my team. I still care. We’ll be there, don’t worry, just give us a little bit of time we’ll be there."

- Queiroz speaking on United's woes earlier this year

The other United connections are to be found in the Ecuador vs. France game, where everyone's favourite left-back Patrice Evra is expected to be tasked with keeping his domestic teammate, Antonio Valencia, quiet.

Other stuff

Your correspondent has written big previews for today's games between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran, and Honduras and Switzerland for any pre-match swotting-up. Elsewhere there are loads of fun things over at SB Nation Soccer, where you'll be able to find coverage of all the action throughout the day.

How to watch

Both of the early, Group F games can be found on ITV in the U.K., while BBC have the later Group E matches. Across the Atlantic, ESPN and Univison have the games in the USA, while CBC have them in Canada. All have streaming options available. For other countries, check LiveSoccerTV.