Croatia vs. Morocco, Germany vs. Japan, Spain vs. Costa Rica, Belgium vs. Canada
Groups E and F begin on Wednesday as Spain, Germany and Belgium play their first matches of the tournament. Spain and Germany are heavy favourites To advance from Group E. Can Japan or Costa Rica play spoiler in the first match? Meanwhile, Belgium took on Canada in the Canadians’ first World Cup game since 1986.
Germany vs. Japan
8 a.m. ET Wednesday, FS1
Germany are on the right side here, though don’t discount a Japanese side that got an unlucky draw. Japan will be a team that can get out of many other groups. We are excited to see how Germany line up and how Jamal Musiala impresses in his first World Cup game. If there’s one question about Germany, it’s in the back line. Can Japan exploit it?
Spain vs Costa Rica
11 a.m. ET Wednesday, Fox
This is a game that will primarily be played in Costa Rica’s half of the field and it would not be an exaggeration to say that Spain may have 75% of the possession. It will be about how Spain break down a Costa Rica side that is content to keep 11 outfield players behind the ball and hit counters and set pieces whenever possible. Under 2.5 goals at +115 looks worth it.
Belgium vs Canada
2 pm ET Wednesday, Fox
Belgium will be without Romelu Lukaku after being ruled out earlier in the tournament. But the team still has plenty of midfield and attacking talent and Belgium’s player of the tournament is Kevin De Bruyne. It won’t be a surprise if Canada gets the result here, but we’ll go with the favourites.
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