The winners of today’s matches move on to the quarterfinals to play each other.
Argentina takes on Switzerland at noon EST at Arena Corinthians in São Paulo. Argentina comes into this match with the edge having won all three of its group matches. The Argentinians are looking for their third World Cup title. The Swiss won two matches and lost one in group play and come into this line-up as the underdogs.
Lionel Messi is Argentina’s player to watch with four of the team’s six goals so far in the tournament. Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero is out with a thigh injury. Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri, nicknamed the Alpine Messi, could pose a challenge hot off of a hat trick against Honduras.
“We know we have to be very focused and maintain balance,” said Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella. “Obviously at this stage there is no margin for error, in the group stage there is chance of a recovery. We have to be very focused. Errors become more and more expensive.”
While the Swiss come into this match with lower odds, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld thinks this plays to their advantage as they try to make their first quarterfinal appearance in 60 years. “We are the clear outsiders but we have nothing to lose and much to gain,” Hitzfeld said. “We can make history. In one game, anything is possible.”
Belgium plays the US at 4:00 p.m. EST at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on the northeastern coast of Brazil. It’s win or go home for the Americans who come into this match as the underdogs with one win, one loss, and one draw to Belgium’s three wins. US coach Jurgen Klinsmann told his player’s families to change their flights home for after the Cup final -- showing his new confidence in the team. Klinsmann, however, isn't happy with the selection of Algerian French-speaking referee, Djamel Haimoudi, for today’s match.
“He is able to speak French with their players on the field and not with us,” Klinsmann said. “I understand it’s difficult for FIFA to choose the right referees for the right games and it has always been tricky for FIFA, but it is what it is.”
Klinsmann said that American Jozy Altidore will be “available” to play in today’s match after sitting out the last two games with a hamstring injury. Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen is out with a hamstring injury.
Both matches will be shown on ESPN. If you aren’t close to a TV, you can watch on the Univision website or download the free Univision mobile app.