After a high-scoring day yesterday in which 11 goals were scored in three matches, today marks the beginning of the end. The end of the Group Stage of the competition that is, as over the next four days the seeding for the remainder of the World Cup will be decided. The format of play also changes for this final round of group play as four games will be played each day, with games from the same group played at the same time. The second batch of games also won't be played at 9pm CET as was the case so far, but an hour later, at 10pm CET.
It also promises to an exciting day from a FC Barcelona standpoint as three of the four games will surely feature at least one Barça player.
Netherlands vs Chile, Kickoff: 6pm CET
In my opinion the match of the day as both teams showed impressive form so far, winning both of their matches and already earning a place in the next round. But what is left to be decided is which team will finish the group in first place and which in second. The Dutch hold the advantage over Chile as they have a better goal differential (by one) so if Chile want to top Group B they will have to beat the high powered offense of the Dutch side while a draw will be enough for Netherlands to secure first seed.
Australia vs Spain, Kickoff: 6pm CET
In all honesty Australia has impressed me more than Spain has so far, but both teams have already been eliminated from the competition and have nothing to play for. That being said, that probably holds true more for Spain who are surely going to be coming into the game heavily demoralized while Australia, who have not played badly in any of their losses, could once again look to surprise the big-name team.
Cameroon vs Brazil, Kickoff: 10pm CET
Apart from Cameroon being eliminated nothing has yet been determined in Group A as Brazil (4 points), Mexico (4 points) and Croatia (3 points) hold destiny in their own hands. Brazil currently lead the group and as long as they win against a disorganized Cameroon side that will probably be the case when everything is said and done. A draw is also enough for the Seleção to advance, but in this case Brazil would need some help to finish first. Unlikely as it may seem, Brazil can also still be eliminated, but they would have to lose and the Croatia vs Mexico game would have to end in a draw. There's also a scenario in which a Croatia win would result in Brazil being eliminated, but that one is very unlikely.
Croatia vs Mexico, Kickoff: 10pm CET
This one can come down to a simple "win and you're in", but when you look deeper into the numbers it gets very complicated. Mexico can secure at least a second place finish with a win or a draw, but can also advance in case of a loss, but would need plenty of help from Cameroon to do so, which is hard to imagine. Croatia can't afford to lose as that will see them crash out of the tournament. They could also squeak through to the next round with a draw, but would require a little help from Cameroon, but that is also hard to imagine. In all honesty, Croatia probably need to win this game if they want to see the Round of 16 of the competition.
This promises to be an exciting day of football. Enjoy!