25 November: Wales – Iran (Group B)
Wales will want to get the three points after drawing their first game, but Iran needs a win too after losing to England. I give Wales the edge in this game. Wales win.
25 November: Qatar – Senegal (A)
Both having lost their opening game, they need the three points. In this Senegal have the advantage, having put forth a decent performance against the Netherlands despite losing. Qatar on the other hand, lost their game against Ecuador without ever being in contention. Senegal wins.
25 November: Netherlands – Ecuador (A)
The winners from the first matchday in Group A compete for the honor of being the first country to qualify for the next round. All they need is a win. Our prediction is a draw though.
25 November: England – USA (B)
Englands landslide victory over Iran on the first matchday will have boosted their confidence. Which could lead to them underestimating the USA, who will undoubtedly be eager to prove their worth and steal a win if possible. The prospect of an early qualification should be enough motivation for England to push for a narrow win though. England wins.
26 November: Tunisia – Australia (D)
Another tough game ahead for both teams, who will try to find the answer to their opponent’s defensive organization. A lack of creativity on both ends would inevitably lead to a draw, unless their coaches pull one or more rabbits from their hats. Our prediction: a draw.
26 November: Poland – Saudi Arabia (C)
After their shock W against World Cup favorites Argentina, Saudi Arabia will want to avoid losing in the first place. I expect them to park the bus and aim for deadly counter-attacks. Poland will struggle to break through, resulting in a draw.
26 November: France – Denmark (D)
Denmark has already won twice from France this year, in the Nations League. The World Cup is a whole other ballgame though. Even more so because France won their first game. The pressure is on the Danes, of which a counterattacking France could take advantage. France wins.
26 November: Argentina – Mexico (C)
Argentina has something to prove after their shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in the first match. Mexico can sit back and rely on counterattacks. An early Argentina goal would spoil that plan however, and reverse the roles. Our prediction: Argentina wins.
27 November: Japan – Costa Rica (E)
Costa Rica proved to be very fragile against Spain. They’ll want to rectify that and make it clear that they have their place in this World Cup. Japan will want to go for the win and an early qualification for the next round. I expect Japan to succeed. Japan wins.
27 November: Belgium – Morocco (F)
A lackluster performance from both teams on matchday one. Belgium has the opportunity to qualify, Morocco needs the three points. Expect a counterattacking Belgium to prevail. Belgium wins.
27 November: Croatia – Canada (F)
Canada did not get what they deserved against Belgium, but if they are able to produce a similar performance in this match they should be able to get the three points. Canada wins.
27 November: Spain – Germany (E)
Spain certainly found their form against Costa Rica, exploiting the lack of defensive coherence. Germany needs to bounce back after their surprise defeat against Japan, but will they be able to do it against an even stronger opponent? Could be a decisive moment in the group, because if Japan wins and Spain defeats Germany, they both qualify for the next round. Our prediction: Spain wins.
28 November: Cameroon – Serbia (G)
A must-win game for both countries, who lost their initial match in the group stage. Could be a goal-fest, as only a win will do. Or they could aim to score quickly and then park the bus. Whoever scores first will definitely have the advantage. Our prediction: Serbia wins.
28 November: Korea Republic – Ghana (H)
These two will hope Brazil will get the better of Switzerland later on this matchday, keeping their hopes of finishing second in the group alive. To do just that, they need a win in this game. I see Ghana struggling to get past the solid Korean defensive organization, and Korea taking advantage on the counter-attack. Korea Republic wins.
28 November: Brazil – Switzerland (G)
World Cup favorites Brazil won their first game, this one could be a little trickier. But they should still be able to end up on top, earning their qualification for the next round. Brazil wins.
28 November: Portugal – Uruguay (H)
Portugal will have boosted their confidence with their win on matchday 1. Will it be enough to break through the Uruguayan defense though? Uruguay could aim for a draw and hope to finish things on matchday 3 against Ghana. Our prediction: a draw.