Guesses: Day 15
After yesterday's Italy result, I've renamed the predictions. I'll probably get rapped by the boss, and maybe we're back to "predictions" tomorrow. Someone's making a lot of money betting the other way on these, but hey - I always thought this World Cup in Africa was going to throw up some surprises. But Italy out? Spain on the ropes? Pinch me.Portugal (1-1-0 W-D-L) vs Brazil (2-0-0), 10 a.m. ET
Portugal's 7-0 thumping of Korea DPR puts them in charge of second spot on goal differential over Ivory Coast, if it should come to that. Matchup of former colony against parent country is intriguing but unlikely to shift the balance in Group G. For Brazil, Kaka is out after that harsh red card in last. Deco is doubtful to return to Portugal. Brazil has looked like a side shifting through its gears. This one could be good.
Guess: Portugal 1, Brazil 3
North Korea (0-0-2) vs Ivory Coast (0-1-1), 10 a.m. ET
With a nine-goal difference between them, only an unlikely combination of a win here by a ton and a Portugal loss by a ton will put Ivory Coast into the knockouts. Not going to happen. Ivory Coast have played it a touch too conservative so far and are promising to open it up here.
Guess: North Korea 1, Ivory Coast 3
Chile (2-0-0) vs Spain (1-0-1), 2:30 p.m. ET
Game of the night matches two crowd-pleasing sides, even if the Spanish have shown reluctance to turn all their possession advantage into goals. Chile needs a draw to win group and avoid likely Brazil next out, but they'll be missing two starters (Carlos Carmona, injured, and suspended Matias Fernandez). Spain must win to assure advance and possibly win group. David Villa gave a hint of their class with two goals last time out, but he also missed a penalty – not good. But Andres Iniesta should be fit and return to the midfield – that's good for Spain. Slim edge for Spain, but Chile certainly capable here.
Guess: Chile 1, Spain 2
Switzerland (1-0-1) vs Honduras (0-0-2), 2:30 p.m. ET
After that opener, a clutch 1-0 win over Spain, Swiss stubbed it against Chile. They trail Spain on goal differential by one, but this might get grim, Honduras without a goal to their credit but have slim hope of advancing, while Switzerland with just that one. Midfielder Valon Behrami sits out after his red-card in last. At least Eren Derdiyok, their fine young attacker, is worth watching.
Guess: Switzerland 1, Honduras 0