World Cup Tips: Will The Belgians Choke On The Big Stage?

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719px-WC-2014-Brasil.svgTODAY we’ll see how well the warmly fancied Belgians handle the hype for the first time in the competition. This is followed by Brazil v Mexico who will be the first sides to play their second games.

In the late kick off Russia and South Korea will be the last two sides to make their first appearance at World Cup 2014.

Belgium v Algeria 5pm

After all the talk of the last couple of years, it’s time for Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’ to prove themselves on the world stage.

With so many notable performers from Courtois in goal, Vermaelen and Kompany at the back and Hazard and Lukaku in attack, this is a side stacked with talent.

Algeria on the other hand are an unfamiliar outfit, but their form is quite good, winning  three friendlies against European opposition on the way to the finals which they qualified for with ease.

I’ve always had the suspicion this Belgian team would choke on the big stage, even still they should have too much for Algeria.  But I predict they may get a scare. You can get Belgium to win 2-1 from Paddy Power at 7/1.

Brazil v Mexico 8pm

Mexico put in a pretty decent performance against Cameroon.  Only for a linesman they would have won out 3-0 and on the balance of play it should have been even more then that.

Brazil stuttered against Croatia, but the Balkans are seasoned campaigners that always give a good account of themselves on the world stage so were never going to be a pushover.

There’s a thread I think that will continue throughout the entire World Cup and that is Brazil will get a lot hometown decisions. The host nation always does. Paddy Power will give you 9/2 for Brazil to score a penalty at anytime.

Russia v South Korea 11pm

These two sides finally get to make their bow at this year’s World Cup. Fabio Capello is manager of Russia so expect them to be organised, but it’s hard to know which Russia will turn up for this tournament.

South Korea have won their last three opening games in the World Cup. They have also played in every tournament since 1986 – only Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina and Spain can boast a longer appearance streak.

4/1 from Paddy Power I think is excellent odds for a South Korea win.

All odds correct as of 10am today

Neymar glides past Mexican defenders to set up Jo when the sides met in last year’s Confederations Cup. More of the same tonight will be expected from him.

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