World Cup 2014

Belgium vs. Russia: 2014 FIFA World Cup | Group H Preview

Belgium vs. Russia
2014 FIFA World Cup
June 22 | Noon ET | Estádio Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
TV: ABC, Univision, CBC in Canada

After proving themselves with a comeback win in their first group stage game over Algeria, this group of Belgians come into Rio de Janeiro looking to cement their place at the top of Group H. Russia, on the other hand, proved little with a mostly dull draw out of their game with South Korea.

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AKINFEEV BLUNDER: Fabio Capello most feel like his goalkeepers are cursed. In his last World Cup, while managing England, Robert Green bobbled a Clint Dempsey shot that landed in the back of the net. On Tuesday Igor Akinfeev let a ball go right through his hands to hand South Korea the opening goal. Despite this, Capello is unlikely to make a change in the nets.

SUB STORY: With the Fennec Foxes staying organized throughout the first half, not allowing Belgium many chances, Marc Wilmots knew he had to change things up. He made all three subs by the 65th minute and both of Belgium’s goals came from substitutes. Look for Marouane Fellaini to start after his sterling performance.

AFROMAN NO MORE? Speaking of the tall Belgian, Fellaini made a proclamation to Belgian outlet Sportza on Thursday: “If we win the World Cup, I cut my hair off. Am I sure? Yes, absolutely. We have a deal.” Here’s hoping Belgium doesn’t win the World Cup just so we never have to see him without his trademark afro.

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THE STAR YOU KNOW

  • Eden Hazard, midfielder, Belgium – The Chelsea star did not take a shot against Algeria but he did create four chances, one of which ended up being an assist.

THE PLAYER WHO WILL SURPRISE YOU

  • Aleksandr Kokorin, forward, Russia – The 23-year-old striker took four shots against South Korea but none got on target. He will hope to change that stat against the Red Devils.