Today at the World Cup: Wednesday, June 27
Mexico and Switzerland among teams in action
Last Updated: 27/06/18 7:50am
The final round of World Cup group games continues on Wednesday, with Brazil and Germany still fighting for a spot in the last 16.
Groups E and F take centre stage on Wednesday, and as things currently stand no side has yet booked their place in the last 16. There is one team not able to progress any further and that's Costa Rica, who have failed to win either of their games so far. For the remaining seven teams, it is all to play for.
Each morning during the tournament we will bring you an overview of what is coming up...
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Who's playing today?
South Korea v Germany (Group F) - Kazan Arena, 3pm
Mexico v Sweden (Group F) - Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg, 3pm
Serbia v Brazil (Group E) - Otkrytie Arena, 7pm
Switzerland v Costa Rica (Group E) - Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, 7pm
What's the deal?
It's a big night in Group E as Brazil take on Serbia in what is effectively a winner-takes-all clash.
Brazil can qualify for the last 16 with a draw or win at the Otkrytie Arena. Serbia could also qualify with a draw if Switzerland lose to Costa Rica by two or more goals.
Meanwhile, Switzerland will make the knockout rounds with a win but a draw can also be good enough as long as Serbia draw or lose to Brazil
There's still plenty to play for in Group F with Mexico mathematically still needing one more point against Sweden to be certain of progressing as group winners.
Second place is still up for groups with Germany, South Korea and Sweden all still able to qualify for the last 16. Germany will secure qualification If they beat South Korea and Sweden do not beat Mexico by a bigger margin. On the other hand, Sweden will qualify if they beat Mexico and Germany fail to beat South Korea, or if they win by a bigger margin than Joachim Low's side. South Korea could qualify but they need to beat Germany by three goals, and Sweden lose.
Three to watch...
Neymar: Brazil's talisman got his World Cup underway with a goal during his side's 2-0 win over Costa Rica. Will that be the springboard for the world's most expensive footballer to turn on the style in Russia? Neymar's fitness continues to be a primary concern for Brazil, given he is still returning to full fitness after a three-month lay-off with a foot injury sustained playing for Paris Saint-Germain. But after his confidence-boosting goal last time out there is surely more to come from the 26-year-old.
Toni Kroos: The Real Madrid midfielder was Germany's hero last Saturday night when his last-gasp strike - the latest goal scored by Germany in normal time at the World Cup (94:42) - kept Joachim Low's side's World Cup hopes alive. Kroos has now been involved in five goals in his last five World Cup games (three goals, two assists) and Germany will be looking to him once again as the bid to qualify for the last 16.
Xherdan Shaqiri: Switzerland will reach the last 16 with a win over Costa Rica and they will be looking to Shaqiri for inspiration in Nizhny Novgorod. The 26-year-old did not have the best of seasons with Stoke in the Premier League but he's found his form in Russia, setting up Steven Zuber's equaliser against Brazil and scoring the winner in his side's crucial 2-1 win over Serbia. He has now been directly involved in five of Switzerland's last six World Cup goals (four goals, one assist). Only Josef Hugi (six goals) has scored more World Cup goals for Switzerland than Shaqiri, who is tied with Robert Ballamann and Andre Abegglen.
Also look out for...
Coutinho on target again?
It's been a World Cup to remember so far for Philippe Coutinho. The Barcelona forward has been on target in Brazil's opening two games, making it three goals in his last three outings for his country. Will he make it four in four against Serbia?
Low moves into the top 10
Germany's clash with South Korea on Wednesday will be Joachim Low's 17th World Cup fixture as the nation's head coach, lifting him into the tournament's all-time top 10.
It's another German coach that tops the pile. Helmut Schon, who won the World Cup with Germany in 1974, has 25 World Cup matches to his name, while Low could still catch up with Luiz Felipe Scolari (21) at Russia 2018. He could also overtake Bora Milutinovic and Mario Zagallo (both 20), as well as Guus Hiddink, Sepp Herberger, Oscar Tabarez and Enzo Bearzot (all on 18) depending on Germany's success at this tournament.
What are England doing?
England's preparations for their final group game against Belgium continue in Repino with training at 10am local time (8am BST). The team will then depart for Kaliningrad in the afternoon ahead of Thursday's Group G encounter.
Stat of the day
Brazil have only managed one victory in their last seven World Cup games against European opposition (D2 L4) - a 3-1 win against Croatia in 2014.
On this day
Look away now England fans. In a game famous for Frank Lampard's goal that never was, England crashed out of the 2010 World Cup at the last-16 stage following a thumping 4-1 defeat to Germany in Bloemfontein.
In the papers
"Anguish and relief" is how Argentinian newspaper Uno sums up Argentina's dramatic qualification to the last 16.
Diario Epoca say Argentina are "more alive than ever" while El Territorio said the side showed "pure courage".
"Suddenly, we are going to the last 16," is how La Mananade Neuquen reacts to the win over Nigeria.
While it was delight in Argentina, it was the opposite in Australia after they exited the World Cup after defeat to Peru.
"Agony," the Daily Telegraph in Sydney said in the headline. The newspaper also showed a picture of Tim Cahill touching a goalpost and wondering if it is was his final goodbye to the sport.
Dan Colasimone of ABC radio said manager Bert van Marwijk may have made the Socceroos too one-dimensional.
"In the end, van Marwijk talked a good game when he spoke to the media at al but he could not deliver one win at the World Cup for Australia, let alone qualification for the next round," Colasimone said.
"The line Van Marwijk and his players repeated ad nauseam, in lieu of any clear public discussion of plans or formations or tactics, was that this side was built to deal with any situation, any opposition. Yet it was only really built to limit damage against superior sides."
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