الخميس , مايو 20 2021

Today at the World Cup: Your at-a-glance guide

Costa Rica v Greece? In the last 16 of the World Cup? You better believe it.

Few predicted
Costa Rica

beating England, Italy and Uruguay

to top spot in Group D,

while many thought Group C hopefuls

would struggle. Now two of the most unfancied teams in the tournament meet in Recife for a prized place in the quarter-finals.

Before that we are focused on Fortaleza where two World Cup stalwarts go head-to-head. Louis van Gaal’s

side were very impressive as they finished the group stage with maximum points and see

standing between them and the last eight.

Today at the World Cup tells you everything you need to know, from who you can expect to win to which players to watch out for and how to ensure you do not miss any of the action.

Greece fans

Greece fans watched their side reach the World Cup knockout phase, despite being rated as the weakest European team by bookmakers ahead of the tournament

Who is playing – and who will win?

Netherlands v Mexico

(17:00 BST)

Netherlands v Mexico

Mark Lawrenson:

“This one is going to be quite a close call.

“Although the Netherlands have been great so far and won all three games, I am looking at them and thinking that this could be the match where they slip up or, at the very least, do not have things all their own way.

“The reason I would still tip the Dutch to win, however, is they have got more match-winners than the Mexicans.”

Lawro’s prediction:

Netherlands 1-0 Mexico

Costa Rica v Greece

(21:00 BST)

Costa Rica v Greece

Mark Lawrenson:

“Like most people, I did not see either of these sides being in the last 16, but Costa Rica’s performances prove Jurgen Klinsmann was right – the United States boss told me to watch out for them two years ago.

“Greece, for me, still play too much anti-football. I know there is nothing wrong with a team defending and playing on the counter-attack but I want Costa Rica to win and I think they will do.”

Lawro’s prediction:

Costa Rica 2-0 Greece

One to watch

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa

Given Netherlands have hit 10 goals in their opening three games at this tournament it would seem unfair not to at least give a nod to their star forwards.

But you already know all there is to know about Manchester United striker Robin van Persie and Bayern Munich forward Arjen Robben.

However you may well know a little less about the man tasked with stopping them adding to their three goals for the tournament, Mexico’s goalkeeper
Guillermo Ochoa.

The 28-year-old has starred for El Tri, keeping a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Cameroon before

almost single-handedly defying Brazil

in the goalless draw in the Maracana.

His first-half save from Neymar in that match

drew comparisons with Gordon Banks’s stop from Pele 

in the 1970 finals.

Currently out of contract after leaving French side Ajaccio at the end of last season he has been linked with Atletico Madrid and Arsenal.

Brazil captain Thiago Silva

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Mexico’s Ochoa frustrates Brazil

What they say about him:

“I did not like their goalkeeper. He was really spectacular, he did a great job, he was calm and confident on the pitch.”

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari

“He is doing very well and he is enjoying the World Cup after being on the bench in two (World Cups).”

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera

The key battle

Joel Campbell evades the challenge of England's Adam Lallana

Campbell has scored one and assisted one of Costa Rica’s four goals

Greece will need a big performance from their defenders if they are to reach the last eight.

Their main man at the back is Borussia Dortmund man
Sokratis Papastathopoulos

and he is likely to be charged with marking Costa Rica’s dangerous forward
Joel Campbell


After a disappointing defensive display in the opening 3-0 loss to Colombia, Papastathopoulos had a brilliant game

as the 10-man Greeks fended off Japan

in the second group game to take a precious point.

Strong and quick the 26-year-old will have his work cut out against a man who made his name playing in Greece last season.

Arsenal forward Campbell came into the World Cup off the back of a fine season with Athens club Olympiakos, landing on the radar in Britain with a goal against Manchester United in the Champions League second round.

The powerful 22-year-old will play as the Central American side’s most advanced man and look to link up with Fulham misfit Bryan Ruiz.

If Greece spend as long on the back foot as they have in their first three matches of this tournament, and indeed the last 10 years of tournament football, then expect to see Papastathopoulos and Campbell locking horns frequently.

Planning your World Cup day – key timings




03:10 – 04:55 BST

Match of the Day Replay


From 06:00 BST

World Cup Catch Up

BBC Sport website/iPlayer

07:00 – 16:00 BST


BBC Sport website

09:45 – 10:30 BST

Match of the Day Highlights


16:00 – 23:15 BST

Text/audio commentary of matches

BBC Sport website

16:00 – 19:10 BST

Netherlands v Mexico

ITV and BBC Radio 5 live

19:30 – 19:58 BST


BBC News Channel

20:30 – 23:10 BST

Costa Rica v Greece

ITV and BBC Radio 5 live

23:40 – 23:58 BST


BBC News Channel

Stats of the day

This will be the first ever meeting between Costa Rica and Greece.

Greece’s seven wins at major tournaments have never been by more than one clear goal (four 1-0 and three 2-1 wins).

Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas has saved seven of the eight shots on target he has faced in this World Cup.

Arjen Robben has scored eight goals in his last nine appearances for the Netherlands.

Mexico have scored a goal in each of their last 11 World Cup matches against European nations, losing just two of these games with four wins and five draws.

Mexico have been knocked out of the World Cup finals at the second-round stage in all five editions since 1994.

World Cup nostalgia

Frank Rijkaard, Rudi Voller

Who could forget the Netherlands’ second-round defeat by West Germany in Italia 1990, when midfielder

Frank Rijkaard spat at Rudi Voller

after the pair were sent off?

The duo were dismissed after just 22 minutes in a heated encounter between the two heavyweights.

Jurgen Klinsmann opened the scoring for the Germans early in the second half and Andreas Brehme doubled their lead with five minutes to go.

New Southampton boss Ronald Koeman pulled a goal back in the closing seconds but West Germany held on and went on to lift the trophy.

Today’s Brazilian lesson

Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza, Brazil

Estadio Castelao has a capacity of: 64,846.

It might be some way from Amsterdam but a game in Fortaleza is something of a homecoming for the Netherlands. The city was born around a fortress built by the Dutch in the 16th Century.

Estadio Castelao 

was the first of the 12 stadiums being used at this year’s World Cup to be completed and has been certified the country’s first green stadium thanks to its so-called glass skin which reflects sunshine and reduces heat.

Former Brazil international and Bolton Wanderers striker Mario Jardel was born in the city. He failed to score in seven league games for Wanderers but did score a brace against Walsall in a League Cup game.

For the best of BBC Sport’s in-depth content and analysis, go to our

features and video page.

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