Let’s just get this out of the way now. It’s the short week before a three-day Fourth of July weekend — four if you were smart and also took off July third — and you’re going to do shit-all for work this week. Go ahead and open another tab to the Univision site and stream today’s games. Put them on your phone. Whatever you have to do. It should be Fourth of July Week, not just one day. Bring your extended vacation into the office. Why? Because this is research on the enemy.
This morning opens up with entertaining French squad taking on the now-paid-their-bonuses-and-will-show-up Nigerian team. (We laugh, but not being paid out the FIFA pool for playing is not unheard of for African teams.) France easily cruised through the group stage, easily dispatching Honduras 3-2, smashing their neighboring Switzerland 5-2 — the Swiss only managed to score in the final ten minutes of the match after Les Bleus had already humiliated them running up the score — before finishing with a 0-0 draw with Ecuador, a game where French coach Didier Deschamps sat many of his starters to rest up for the next round. While most people are already counting on the French to move on, don’t look past the African champions who impressively played Group F winners Argentina in a 3-2 loss in their game.
In the afternoon Germany (Editor’s note – BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) takes on Algeria in game that could be closer than anyone predicts. Germany opened up with an impressive win against Portugal, then faltered in a 2-2 draw against Ghana before winning 1-0 over the United States in a match… Well. You watched it. Germany didn’t look that scary. Algeria gave away a late goal against Belgium for a 2-1 loss (a 1-1 draw against the Red Devils would have been a major moral victory) before soundly beating South Korea and drawing with Russia.