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pivotal games

In an article on FiveThirtyEight titled "The 2018 World Cup: Favorites, Sleepers And Most Pivotal Games", Neil Paine listed the top ten group-stage matches to watch for. Portugal-Spain was #2, and was the first one to show up, so maybe we should be listening to him. Check out his article. In the meantime, here are the other nine matches that look good:

  • June 17: Germany-Mexico (#6 on the list), Brazil-Switzerland (#4)
  • June 20: Spain-Iran (#5)
  • June 21: Argentina-Croatia (#7)
  • June 23: Germany-Sweden (#10)
  • June 25: Spain-Morocco (#1)
  • June 26: Argentina-Nigeria (#8)
  • June 27: Brazil-Serbia (#3)
  • June 28: England-Belgium (#9)

"Aside from the few group-stage clashes between titans, such as Spain-Portugal or England-Belgium, there’s a common recipe for the crucial matches listed above: a talented underdog that can’t be overlooked by its contending opponent and that has the potential to break the knockout bracket before it’s even set."

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