The 5 Biggest Group Stage World Cup Games
With the World Cup now just hours away, it’s time to focus on what is expected to be the five biggest games of the group stage. At numberFire, we use our nERD rating to measure a team’s overall efficiency. The five games listed below have the highest combined nERD rating among the games in the group stage.
Spain (3.11 nERD) vs. Netherlands (2.74 nERD), June 13th: The biggest game of the group stage is a rematch of the 2010 World Cup Final. Spain won that match 1-0 in extra time to win the World Cup in South Africa, and June 13th will be the long awaited rematch. Spain goes into the World Cup ranked third in our nERD ratings, while Netherlands is currently ranked eighth. This opening match of Group B will go a long way in deciding who gets out of the real group of death. Our game simulator currently gives Spain a 68.8% chance of winning this match.
Brazil (3.46 nERD) vs. Mexico (2.35 nERD), June 17th: The two best teams in Group A meet up in their second group stage match, and both should be coming off a win. Brazil is our top ranked team going into the World Cup, and Mexico is currently ranked 14th after having a difficult qualifying campaign. Brazil know the importance of getting out of this group on top, especially on home soil, so expect a high scoring match. Brazil has an 86% chance to win according to our metrics.
Spain (3.11 nERD) vs. Chile (2.68 nERD), June 18th: While everyone has been calling Group G the group of death, the most incredible group is actually Group B. One of Spain, Chile or the Netherlands will fail to advance out of the group stage, and it will be heartbreak for their country. Chile is ranked ninth in our nERD ratings, and will be looking to advance deep in the South American based tournament. Chile and the Netherlands both have about a 50% chance to advance out of the group according to our metrics, and Chile will be looking to get at least a point from this match. Either way, Group G is going to come down to the final match between Chile and the Netherlands on June 23rd.
Ecuador (2.56 nERD) vs. France (3.05 nERD), June 25th: The fifth-best team in France against the 11th-best team in Ecuador should be a great game on the second-to-last day of the group stage. Both teams are expected to advance to the knockout round, but this match should determine which team will finish first in Group E. A first place finish will most likely result in a matchup against Bosnia-Herzegovina, while a second place finish will have to face Argentina in the second round. France has a 72.8% projection to win this match.
Argentina (3.14 nERD) vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina (2.39 nERD), June 15th: The first match for both of these teams will help to determine the fate of Group F. While both teams are heavy favorites to get out of the group, Argentina will be under pressure in a World Cup they are expected to contend for. Argentina has the second best nERD rating and we currently give them a 12.45% chance to win the World Cup. Argentina needs to make sure they take this opening match seriously, as Bosnia-Herzegovina can score as much as anyone.