Man vs Bookie takes on tonight’s £2m Pick 6!
Man vs The World
Holland v Mexico
- Mexico have lost three and drawn one of their last four encounters with the Netherlands, conceding at least two goals on each of these occasions.
- Mexico have been knocked out of the World Cup finals at the second round stage in all five editions since 1994.
- Netherlands have won nine of their last 10 World Cup matches, with the only blip in this run being their 2010 final defeat against Spain
Verdict: This could go one of two ways. Mexico’s hope her is to keep it very tight as they did against Brazil (0-0 draw) If Holland score early it could well go the other way with them running riot. Holland 2-0, 1-1 Draw are the picks
Costa Rica v Greece
- Greece’s seven wins at major tournaments have never been by more than one clear goal (four 1-0 and three 2-1 wins).
- Greece have only kept one clean sheet in nine World Cup games, against Japan in 2014 (0-0).
- Costa Rica are yet to concede a goal from open play at this World Cup, the only one they have let in being Edinson Cavani’s penalty.
Verdict: Still not sure how Greece got through? Costa Rica blew a tough group apart, and it was a very mature performance against Italy. Greece will hope to soaked up as much pressure as they can. I can see this being decided late on. Costa Rica 1-0, 2-0
France v Nigeria
- Nigeria have lost both of their previous World Cup second round ties – 1-2 v Italy in 1994 and 1-4 v Denmark in 1998.
- France have won all three of their previous second round ties at the World Cup (2-0 v Italy in 1986, 1-0 v Paraguay in 1998 and 3-1 v Spain in 2006).
- On the last five occasions that France have progressed past round 1 in the World Cup, they have reached the semi-final stage (1958, 1982, 1986, 1998 and 2006).
Verdict: France were playing total football until the dead rubber against Ecuador. Obviously there’s is more pressure here but I expect them to be extremely positive. France 3-1, 3-0.
Germany v Algeria
- Germany have lost both of their previous meetings with Algeria in all competitions, scoring once and conceding four times.
- Germany have reached the semi-finals of the last three World Cups. No nation has ever made the last four in four successive tournaments.
- Germany have scored the opening goal in all three of their games so far in the competition. Algeria opened the scoring twice in Group H.
Verdict: I think Germany have been saving themselves a bit in the group stages. They’ll want to end this one as a contest early. Germany 2-0, 3-1
Argentina v Switzerland
- This will be the seventh international meeting between Argentina and Switzerland. Argentina are unbeaten in their previous six (W4 D2).
- Argentina have been knocked out only once in their six previous appearances at this stage (versus Romania in 1994).
- The Swiss have kept a clean sheet in seven of their last 10 World Cup finals matches.
- Switzerland have won just one of their previous six World Cup matches against South American nations (W1 D1 L4), but this victory came earlier in this tournament v Ecuador.
Verdict: Argentina have not convinced so far. Messi has dug them out of a hole or two and papered over some cracks. They look much better with Lavezzi giving them width. Switzerland are difficult to judge on what we’ve seen so far, both very good and pretty ordinary. Argentina 1-0, Draw 1-1, 2-2
Belgium v USA
- In their last meeting in May 2013, the Rode Duivels won 4-2 in Cleveland. Kevin Mirallas and Marouane Fellaini both scored for Belgium, while Clint Dempsey and Geoff Cameron were on the score sheet for the US.
- The last six Belgian goals at World Cups have come in the closing 20 minutes of games.
- USA have conceded in each of their last 16 World Cup games against European opposition.
Verdict: Most people’s ‘dark horses’ have made it through to the second round at least. Belgium have been far from convincing with all their goals coming late on. USA we know will not see much of the ball but will give everything they have (and it might be enough) Belgium 2-1, USA 2-1, 1-1 Draw