Predictions: Day 4
Netherlands vs. Denmark, 7:30 a.m. ET
The Dutch enter this tournament as the neutral’s favourite – because even if nobody looks good in orange, everybody loves a trier. In-form midfield star Arjen Robben will not play, leaving the offensive load on Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie. Despite their dodgy defence, the Oranje have too much juice for a game Denmark side.
Prediction: Netherlands 3, Denmark 1
Japan vs. Cameroon, 10 a.m. ET
It’s not looking promising for Japan, all of Africa’s least fancied side after Tulio Tanaka broke Didier Drogba’s arm in a wrap-up friendly. The Japanese have scored only once in their last five matches. The Cameroonians meanwhile will feature one of the likely offensive stars in this tournament, Samuel Eto’o. Here’s guessing he gets off to a fast start.
Prediction: Cameroon 2, Japan 0
Italy vs. Paraguay, 2:30 p.m. ET
Two years ago, at the Euro, former Portugal manager Luis Felipe Scolari was musing on the greatness of European football, since few teams outside that continent counted in his books. “There’s only Brazil and Argentina,” he said. “And Paraguay.” Paraguay? Well, we’ll see today as the upstarts take on the wizened Italian squad. Scolari’s been right about a lot of things. Here’s guessing, this isn’t one of them.
Prediction: Italy 2, Paraguay 0