Come the end of today's games, all 32 teams will have played the first of their three group stage games. It's been an absolutely thrilling and completely unpredictable tournament thus far — and it only seems like it's going to continue that way.
The final four teams who haven't taken the field in Brazil finally get their chance. Belgium, a sleeper pick by many experts to make a run in the World Cup, arrive with big-time talents up and down its roster and big expectations to boot. And then, of course, there's Brazil playing its second game of the group stages, which seems to be an event in of itself this summer because of where the World Cup is being held.
Ah, what fun we will have. Just another day in what continues to be an enthralling World Cup.
Group H: Belgium vs. Algeria (12 p.m. Eastern Time, 9 a.m. Pacific Time)
They have called this Belgium's golden generation of talent. And indeed, their roster is stacked with talent that is young and playing at some of the top clubs in Europe. From talent ike Thibaut Courtois in goal to Romelu Lakaku leading the line in attack, it's pretty easy to see why people are thinking the Belgians can do some damage at the 2014 World Cup. While it's not the be-all, end-all in these kinds of tournaments, Belgium enters the World Cup ranked No. 11 in the FiFA world rankings. Now it's just a matter of overcoming their relative lack in major tournaments...
SB Nation Preview: Les Fennecs capable of causing an upset against Belgium
Group A: Brazil vs. Mexico (3 p.m. Eastern Time, 12 p.m. Pacific Time)
Both teams won their opening matches, but it's pretty easy to figure who the favorite is in the second group stage games for both teams. Neither were dominant against their respective opposition, but Brazil is Brazil and apparently have the referees helping them out when need be. (Okay, so maybe that's a little bitterness talking there.) Mexico, on the other hand, might have gotten three points, but they've looked anything but impressive lately. Now with El Tri facing one of the tournament favorites, we'll see what they're truly made of.
SB Nation Preview: Seleção should dominate Mexico out wide
Group H; Russia vs. South Korea (6 p.m. Eastern Time, 3 p.m. Pacific Time)
The final two teams to open the group stages has a little Italian presence with Fabio Capello in charge of the Russian national team. While the English media has basically been doing their best to remind people of what Capello did in South Africa four years ago, this is a Russia side that beat Portugal to win their qualifying group. Then again, after watching Portugal on Monday, maybe that's not such a big deal. (Maybe.)