After a marathon Saturday of action, day four sees things quieten down as Group E gets underway alongside the opening match of Group F as reigning champions, Germany meet Mexico.
Costa Rica vs Serbia (1pm)
Costa Rica and Serbia kick off Group E when they meet in an early key group match, with Brazil and Switzerland strong contenders to get out of the group.
Both sides have strong players but in Aleksandar Mitrovic, Serbia have a in-form goal scorer so Costa Rica ought to be on their guard when he has the ball in their final third. Throw in the fact that he netted a hat-trick against Bolivia in Serbia’s final friendly and he will be a big threat for the European side.
Costa Rica meanwhile have not won their opening World Cup match on just one occasion out of four, and will be buoyant by the fact that Serbia lost their last two openers in this competition 1-0.
Although victory is probably vital here ahead of games against Brazil and Switzerland, I can see a nice quiet draw here with both sides scoring.
Prediction: Costa Rica 1-1 Serbia
Germany vs Mexico (4pm)
Germany commence their title defence here as they look to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to defend their crown.
Group F however will be a tough group to escape from with Sweden and South Korea to come, after their opening opponents – Mexico.
Both sides have several experienced players available but Germany enter this as slight underdogs, having taken just one win from last six matches.
Mexico however are yet to beat Die Mannschaft at a World Cup, having lost their three previous meetings 8-1 on aggregate and their last meeting 32 years ago saw the Germans win 4-1 on penalties in Quarter-Finals after drawing match 0-0.
Given Germany’s dodgy form of late, I am going to go for a draw because Mexico have players who will provide a stern test of their title credentials.
Prediction: Germany 1-1 Mexico
Brazil vs Switzerland (7pm)
Today’s action with Brazil meeting Switzerland as the Group E favourites look to get their campaigns underway with victory here.
Unlike their last World Cup appearance, Brail have been revitalised under Tite into a fierce attacking side with solid defence.
Switzerland meanwhile had to qualify via UEFA play-offs and midfielders, Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka will probably be key if the Swiss are to beat their South American opponents here.
Otherwise, I can see Brazil running riot with Neymar, Phillipe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus terrifying the hell out of their defence.
Another reason why I am going with Brazil is that they are unbeaten in opening games since losing on their first appearance in 1934.
Prediction: Brazil 3-0 Switzerland