Can German dead frogs turn into princes?

Chris Hatherall previews Wednesday’s World Cup action as the tournamnet heats up.

South Korea v Germany, Kazan, 3pm

This one is a must-see for anyone who has followed the German story so far.

Tony Kroos’ last-minute winner against Sweden was pure box office but the holders aren’t off the hook yet.

They so nearly went from dead frogs to dead ducks in this group and there’s still a scenario where they could go out.

A draw would be enough for the last 16 if Mexico beat Sweden – but if the Swedes win then Germany need to better their result. Mesut Ozil will be a nervous man waiting for the team sheet; dropped for the Sweden game, it might be a long way back for him.

Mexico v Sweden, Yekaterinburg, 3pm

You get knocked down, you get up again, is probably the Swedish mantra in Ekaterinburg after their disappointment in Sochi. But it will be Mexico who feel like Chumbawambas if they waste this opportunity to reach the last 16 — especially as they seemed to celebrate being there already after beating South Korea. What’s German for ‘You started singing too soon’? The official line is that all four teams in this group have a chance of progressing.

Mexico going out would still be a big surprise, though.

Serbia v Brazil, Spartak Stadium, Moscow, 7pm

Watch out for close-ups of Neymar weeping if Brazil make it through in Moscow, which surely they will.

He got some terrible stick back home for collapsing on the pitch in tears after scoring in the 97th minute against Costa Rica. Apparently it showed weakness according to the Brazilian press. Teammate Fagner has called for a truce as they bid to reach the last 16. “Every athlete is a human being who has feelings,” he said. “We’re all supporting him.”

A point should be enough for Brazil but the world is hoping for a bit more Samba style.

Switzerland v Costa Rica, Nizhny Novgorod, 7pm

If you’re watching this one instead of Brazil there’s been a football malfunction; but still worth keeping an eye on Xherdan Shaqiri’s goal celebrations.

Doing the ‘Albanian eagle’ got the Kosova-born midfielder into hot water in Switzerland’s impressive victory over Serbia.

Defender Michael Lang says the controversy has only brought his team closer together, however, and the Swiss could be dark horses.

A win in Nizhny Novgorod would definitely take them through and a draw could prove enough, too.


Related Articles

Ireland interested in joint bid to host 2030 World Cup

Ireland set to join bid to host the 2030 World Cup

Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui stands by controversial Spain exit

England defender Maguire getting used to life as a cult hero


Breaking Stories

Grassroots bodies bemoan collapse of Wembley sale but fans call for agents’ levy

Thumb surgery may keep Liverpool’s Mane sidelined against Huddersfield

Late blitz sees De La Salle over the line in dramatic fashion

Comfortable win for St Colman's as they open campaign with impressive display

Breaking Stories

Cork Film Festival launches 2018 programme of 250 films

How to make Prue Leith’s ‘almost Thai’ fish cakes

Could this be the most spiritual retreat in Vietnam?

What’s it like to stay in Richard Branson’s favourite Balearic retreat?

More From The Irish Examiner