World Cup 2014 TV schedule: Who to watch Saturday, June 21 (+video)
Saturday's 2014 World Cup matches feature Germany vs. Ghana at 3 p.m. The other two matches of the day are Argentina vs. Iran and Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The match of the day is likely to be Germany vs. Ghana. And American fans will be paying particularly close attention.
After the drubbing Germany gave Portugal (4-0) in its opener, Germany is expected to deftly handle Ghana.
But Ghana, in only its third World Cup appearance, could play the role of plucky underdog. This team has something to prove after their 1-2 loss to the USA team last Monday.
What makes this match of interest to US fans?
First, there's the history. Ghana knocked the US out of the World Cup in 2006 and 2010. But the big reason US fans will care is that if Germany beats Ghana, and the US can pull off a win over Portugal on Sunday, then Germany and the US will have secured their places in the Round of 16. The US and Germany are scheduled to play a Group Round finale on Thursday, but if both teams win this weekend, that match would be more of warm-up session for the next stage.
The other narrative of note in the Germany vs. Ghana match is the battle between two half brothers. Kevin-Prince Boateng is an attacking midfielder who was born in Germany, and has played for various European teams but went to Ghana to play with the Black Stars in the 2010 World Cup. He'll be facing off against his younger brother Jerome, who plays as a defender on the German squad.
Tactically, Germany has to watch out for Ghana's counter attack.
"Ghana will never be able to break down [German Coach Joachim] Low's side, but they don't have to. While Germany will expect to dominate, they'll need to arm themselves appropriately to handle the African outfit's preferred approach," writes Sam Tighe at Bleacher Report.
And Low has warned his team not to get complacent.
Even after winning the first match we have to be very careful and pay a lot of attention now because we saw what happened in 2008 and 2010. We won the first game and then went and lost the second. We have just seen it here Italy won their first game and then lost against Costa Rica and the Netherlands almost lost to Australia. Maybe it is psychological after the first win. One victory is not enough so our objective is to maintain focus and pay attention.
Germany vs. Ghana 3 p.m. Eastern time, Saturday in Estadio Castelao, Foraleza, Brazil.
The first match of the day pits Argentina against Iran at 12 p.m. Eastern time. Argentina is favored to win handily, but los Albicelestes had a less-than impressive opening match against Bosnia-Herzegovina. All eyes will be on Argentina's star Lionel Messi, and if he plays well, that's reason enough to watch this match.
Iran plays a tough, defensive game, and seeks to score on a few counterattacks. In their last 25 matches, opponents have scored one goal (or less) in 23 of those matches. But Iran hasn't faced anything like what Argentina can hit them with offensively.
"Expect Argentina to throw everything they have at Iran early to try and score one and open up the stronghold in front of the Iranian net, but frustration may set in if they don’t score early against a team they believe is far inferior," writes Ken Bboehlke at CBS Sports.
In last match of the day features Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina, two teams without a win. Nigeria got a point in its draw with Iran, but Bosnia-Herzegovina has none. Nigeria is favored, and if the Super Eagles win, then Bosnia-Herzegovina will be sent packing. A tie means Bosnia-Herzegovina will have one more shot against Iran. Of course, even if Nigeria wins, they will still face Argentina to get out of this stage.
Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina kicks off at 6 p.m. Eastern time.
All matches Saturday will be televised on ESPN and Univision. If you're not near a TV, you can watch on the Univision website or download the free Univision mobile app. Or if you're a cable-TV subscriber, you can watch on the WatchESPN app