World Cup Daily: USA ready for Belgium

World Cup Daily: USA ready for Belgium
July 1, 2014, 10:00 am
Share This Post

Match of the Day: United States vs. Belgium, 4 p.m. ET

The United States have one of their biggest matches in recent memory as they take on Belgium for a chance to reach the quarterfinals. It wasn't easy against Germany in their final match of the group stage, but the United States have a solid shot against the Belgians. Belgium will be down two defenders -- Thomas Vermaelen and Anthony Vanden Borre -- for sure, and could be missing their captain, Vincent Kompany, as well. So while the defense will be thin, they still have Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderwield and Daniel van Buyten and their star-studded midfield. 

The United States don't have nearly the injuries, just the broken noses for Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones. We know Jozy Altidore is cleared to play, but we don't know how long he can go or if he will go at all. There's also the issue of poor play from Michael Bradley, I'm positive you cannot drop him from the lineup, I just don't know how you fix the lineup if you keep him in. The US still has questions to answer on defense, mainly who starts alongside Matt Besler in the center of defense. 

Player of the Day: MF Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland

This World Cup has been crazy so far and we've seen a few upsets. I'm not about to write off Switzerland against Argentina, but it doesn't look good for them. If Switzerland find a way to upset Lionel Messi and Argentina it will be because of Shaqiri. The Bayern Munich midfielder combines well with Granit Xhaka in the Swiss midfield, but the two will have to play the game of their lives to knock of the Argentines. 

World Cup Rewind: Germany needed extra time against Algeria to advance to the quarterfinals and will face France after they knocked off Nigeria to set up an unbelievable quarterfinal. 

Football Follies: It could be argued that the four best remaining teams are all on the same side of the bracket. Brazil, Colombia, France and Germany will play two great quarterfinals and then set up an epic semifinal. It seems likely that the Netherlands and Argentina will face each other in the other semifinal. Regardless, we are set up for some great games.

Predictions: Argentina 2, Switzerland 1. USA 2, Belgium 1.