There are two Juventus players taking the field at the World Cup today. One of them, Medhi Benatia, will be trying to defend one of the two best players in the world. The other one of them, Rodrigo Bentancur, will be playing one of the worst teams at the World Cup and — whether he knows it or not — attempting to keep making our hearts swoon because he’s such a damn good player at the age of 20.
The first two games of the day today, a Wednesday that is also the 20th day of June, will have a Juventus player in their country’s starting lineup.
And said countries are in very different kinds of situations.
For Morocco, with their last-second loss in their tournament opener, they face what is likely a must-win situation if they want to have any chances to get to the knockout rounds. (They still have to play against Spain in the final group stage game, by the way.)
When it comes to Bentancur and Uruguay, a win or a draw against Saudi Arabia — yes, the same team that Russia dismantled on its way to a 5-0 win in last Thursday’s World Cup opener — means that they’re officially in the knockout round with one game to spare.
Different scenarios are very different.
Now that we’re entering the second round of group stage fixtures, the field for the knockout phase of the World Cup is starting to slowly but surely take some kind of shape. Many countries may not know where they fall until the third and final group stage game, but some like Uruguay sit in groups that could have things settled outside of first and second place by the time the start of next week arrives.
We pretty much know we will be seeing Aleksandr Golovin for at least one more game past the group stage phase.
The same could be said for Bentancur by the time the 90 minutes are over in Uruguay’s second group stage game.
I, for one, am all for that.
Group B — Portugal-Morocco: 8 a.m. Eastern Time, 5 a.m. Pacific (NBC link here)
Group A — Uruguay-Saudi Arabia: 1 1 a.m. Eastern Time, 8 a.m. Pacific (NBC link here)
Group B — Spain-Iran: 2 p.m. Eastern Time, 11 a.m. Pacific (NBC link here)
HOW TO WATCH
Television: Portugal-Morocco will be shown on Fox Sports 1; Uruguay-Saudi Arabia and Spain-Iran will be shown on FOX (United States); TSN4, TSN5 (Canada); UTV, STV Scotland, ITV1 UK (United Kingdom)
Online/mobile: Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (links above); Fox Sports Go (United States); TSN GO, RDS GO (Canada); The ITV Hub (United Kingdom)
Note: This post will be updated daily as the main World Cup viewing and off-topic thread here at BWRAO. So, if you see comments from a previous day or a game that you already know took place, fret not. Keep the discussion going ... and going ... and going. Rack up those comments into the hundreds and thousands!
Stay tuned to BWRAO for posts regarding Juventus’ representation in Russia as well as any transfer-related happenings that take place before, during or after the day’s schedule comes and goes.