So far Belgium is the only team with a win in Group H. They are still the clear favorites, but Russia, South Korea, and Algeria could all push them for top spot.
Belgium v Russia – Sunday, June 22 @ 12pm: ABC and Univision
Belgium looked poor in the first half against Algeria, but did grow into the game, especially once Marc Wilmots began to make substitutions. Impressively, all three subs made a difference, which also underlined the ineffectiveness of those players they replaced.
Russia is the second favorite in this group and also failed to impress in their first match. Just like Belgium they needed to rely on subs to make the difference, even if it did end in a 1-1 draw.
I’m predicting a Belgium win. There should also be some changes made to their formation especially with Dembele and Chadli looking poor in round one. Russia shouldn’t be underestimated, however, they do have a tough team, but one that tends to sit back, which could benefit Belgium.
South Korea v Algeria – Sunday, June 22 @ 3pm: ABC and Univision
These are two teams that will be looking to win and need to win to be able to push on. South Korea earned a hard fought point against Russia in their first round match. This was a match in which they could have won and in which they played well against a tough defensive side.
Algeria put in a solid effort against a much better Belgium side and were mostly unlucky to lose 2-1 despite taking an early first half lead. After scoring the first goal of the match they spent the next 60+ minutes defending, but were unable to hold on for any points. Still, there were a lot of positives to take away from this match and they will not go down easily in this group.
My prediction is a draw, however, either team could take this one. I will give Algeria a slight edge due to their impressive performance against Belgium.