Groups E and F kick off on Wednesday with Spain, Germany and Belgium playing their first matches of the tournament. Spain and Germany are a big choice to advance from Group E. Can Japan or Costa Rica play spoiler in the first games? Meanwhile, Belgium take on Canada in Canada’s first World Cup match since 1986.
Morocco vs Croatia
5 am AND Wednesday, FS1
Are Croatia getting any upset at the 2018 World Cup? After making the final four years ago, Croatia are still led by the ageless Luka Modric. But this team is worse than the team that won the last game of the tournament and does not discount Morocco. This is a team that can easily go through the group. The tie could be on the right.
Germany vs Japan
8 am AND Wednesday, FS1
Germany are the right side here, but don’t tell the unlucky Japanese team that got the final. Japan would be a pegged team to get out of many other groups. We are excited to see how Germany fares and how Jamal Musiala makes his World Cup debut. If there is a question about Germany it is on the back line. Can Japan take advantage of that?
Spain vs Costa Rica
11 am ET Wednesday, Fox
This is a game that will be played mainly in Costa Rica’s half of the field and it is no exaggeration to say that Spain could have 75% of the possession. It will be all about how Spain break down a Costa Rica side that will be willing to put all 11 outfield players behind the ball and hit the counter and set pieces whenever possible. Under 2.5 goals at +115 feels even.
Belgium vs Canada
2 pm ET Wednesday, Fox
Belgium will be without Romelu Lukaku after he was ruled out for the start of the tournament. But there is still plenty of midfield and attacking talent in the side and Belgium have the best player in the competition in Kevin De Bruyne. It won’t be a surprise if Canada gets a result here, but we’ll take your favorites.