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World Cup day 14: who, what, and how to watch

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Arsenal could have up to four players in action today.

Serbia v Switzerland: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Here we are at day 14, the penultimate day of group stage matches. Half of the groups—A, B, C, and D—have finished playing, and from those, Uruguay, Russia, Spain, Portugal, France, Denmark, Croatia, and Argentina are moving on to the first of the knockout rounds. Today, we have the final matches in Groups E and F.

Yesterday morning’s matches featured the first scoreless game of the tournament; the 0-0 draw between France and Denmark ensured that the former topped Group C and the latter advanced to the round of sixteen. Meanwhile, Peru finally got on the scoresheet, with two goals in their win against Australia. In Group D, Lionel Messi scored his first goal of the tournament, and an 86th minute shot from Marcos Rojo sent Argentina into the knockout rounds ahead of Nigeria. Over in Rostov-on-Don, Croatia’s 2-1 defeat of Iceland became rather bloody; Iceland forward Birkir Bjarnason played most of the game with cotton balls in his nose after taking an elbow in the fourteenth minute.

Group F is up first, with Mexico facing Sweden and South Korea playing Germany. Mexico are already guaranteed a spot in the round of sixteen; Sweden, on the other hand, need at least a draw and possibly a little help from South Korea if they want to advance, depending on the scores of the two matches. Germany are in a similar situation, as their numbers are identical to Sweden’s so far. The defending world champions are expected to beat South Korea, who have lost both of their other group stage matches, and barring a blowout Swedish win, three points would send Germany through to the knockout rounds.

Arsenal fans will want to keep an eye on Mesut Özil, if he plays for Germany. He played the full ninety minutes in Germany’s loss to Mexico, but spent the entirety of their win against Sweden on the bench.

For the second set of matches, we have Group E, where no one is safe yet. Costa Rica can’t advance to the knockout rounds, but none of Brazil, Switzerland, and Serbia have done enough to secure their spot yet. Serbia likely need to win against Brazil, as they sit third in the group, and both Brazil and Switzerland will be looking for at least a draw to ensure their moving on. There are a lot of permutations for this group, and some of them hinge on goal difference tiebreakers, so we may just want to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Switzerland versus Costa Rica could be full of Arsenal players, with Granit Xhaka and newly signed Gunner Stephan Lichtsteiner potentially playing against perpetual loanee Joel Campbell. Campbell made a substitute appearance in Costa Rica’s first match and spent the second on the bench; given that pattern, we probably shouldn’t expect a start, but he may see the pitch as a substitute again. On the other hand, Lichtsteiner and Xhaka are regular Swiss starters (and Lichtsteiner is the captain). Both were fined for making an eagle gesture, mimicking the Albanian flag, in their game against Serbia, but they escaped any suspensions and should start in Switzerland’s match today.

Mexico vs. Sweden

Ekaterinburg Arena, Ekaterinburg

7AM PT | 10AM ET | 3PM BT | 5PM RT

US TV: Fox

US streaming: Telemundo

South Korea vs. Germany

Kazan Arena, Kazan

7AM PT | 10AM ET | 3PM BT | 5PM RT

US TV: Fox Sports One

US streaming: Telemundo

Serbia vs. Brazil

Spartak Stadium, Moscow

11AM PT | 2PM ET | 7PM BT | 9PM RT

US TV: Fox

US streaming: Telemundo

Switzerland vs. Costa Rica

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod

11AM PT | 2PM ET | 7PM BT | 9PM RT

US TV: Fox Sports One

US streaming: Telemundo