SUNDAY SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
Switzerland vs. Ecuador - Noon, ABC
France vs. Honduras - 3 p.m., ABC
Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina - 6 p.m., ESPN
If Ecuador play as they did vs. Mexico in late May, it will be a long World Cup. But Ecuador should perform better in Brazil. Jaime Ayoví is a very underrated and versatile player who could make the difference against Switzerland.
France has an excellent coach in Didier Deschamps and a cabinet full of weapons at his disposal even without Franck Ribery. Benzema and one of my favorite players, "Le petite Velo" Mathieu Valbuena, should cause chaos for Honduras.
Argentina-Bosnia-Herzegovina should be a fantastic match. The South Americans have amazing firepower and coach Alejandro Sabella could play with all 6 attacking weapons at same time to absolutely overwhelm opponents. This should shape up into a very entertaining matchup.
Switzerland manager Ottmar Hitzfeld is the master tactician, but he might just come up short here in a clash that could decide second place in Group E.
Franck Ribery would have had fun running at a static Honduran backline, but I'm sure the rest of Les Bleus will find it equally enjoyable.
And in the nightcap, Saint Leo begins his campaign with a tough one as the Bosnians are rugged and physical. Still, they simply don't have the tools to stop Messi and pals so Argentina should run away with it.
The Swiss are a strong team who went undefeated in qualifying, but one cannot discount the benefit of home-continent advantage for Ecuador.
Unless there is another capitulation in the cards, France should have no problem reaching the knockout stages, starting with a win over Honduras. The CONCACAF side are very physical and no pushovers, but France’s overall quality should prevail.
Argentina have incredible attacking talent and are among the favorites in this tournament, but they have defensive frailties, which is why they will concede to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Albiceleste should still pick up three points though.
Switzerland vs. Ecuador – The Swiss didn't get to be the No. 8 team in the world by beating teams like Ecuador. That sentence doesn't make sense, but neither do FIFA's rankings.
France vs. Honduras – Paul Pogba.
Argentina vs. Bosnia-H – Lionel Messi for a hat trick of giggles.