Neymar has Pele's Brazil document in sight; Portugal fend off Ronaldo drama


Nothing embodies Thanksgiving like watching the World Cup however that is the place we’re at with this fall version. With Turkey Day tomorrow, we count on a feast of soccer with match faves Brazil in motion in opposition to Serbia, Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal taking over Ghana, and Uruguay squaring up in opposition to South Korea in a matchup for darkish horse groups.

However Wednesday’s outcomes proved to be a worthy appetizer to Thursday’s cornucopia. Japan stunned Germany, whereas Canada had been unfortunate in opposition to Belgium. And maybe impressed by the complete slate of upcoming NFL motion, Spain scored a proverbial landing over Costa Rica in a 7-0 thrashing.

You’ll want to test in with ESPN all through the match as we carry you the most recent from Qatar. This is what you will have missed from Wednesday’s World Cup happenings.

World Cup information, options, previews, and extra
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Neymar nears Pele’s mark however Brazil on excessive alert

We noticed Argentina lose to Saudi Arabia in a monumental upset on Tuesday, and earlier Wednesday four-time World Cup winners Germany went down in opposition to Japan. Will Brazil, the general favourite to carry the trophy in Qatar, endure an identical destiny in opposition to Serbia on Thursday?

Something can occur however Brazil coach Tite has put his aspect on discover to not take something without any consideration at this stage, telling reporters that “every team is proud and wants to do its best in a World Cup.” That particularly rings true for his squad, trying to win an unprecedented sixth title and their first one in 20 years.

“I can’t take the responsibility of the last 20 years, only four,” he stated. “We have a great country, passionate about football, and this also serves as a tool for education. We not only have pressure, but we take advantage of it, because dreaming is part of life.”

When Brazil take the sector, they will arguably have the deepest and most balanced squad of any on the match, with playmakers in any respect positions. Alisson is among the greatest goalkeepers within the enterprise, and there are few centre-backs with the velocity and high quality of Marquinhos, partnered both with the category and expertise of Thiago Silva or the velocity of Eder Militao.

Their attacking choices is nearly unfair. Lucas Paqueta, Richarlison, Raphinha and Vinicius Junior permit Brazil to attain in loads of other ways.

And as for Neymar? The lofty expectations for him in a Brazilian jersey have at all times appear unfair however that may change if he does two issues: win the World Cup, and rating a minimum of three objectives to interrupt Pele’s document for many by a Brazilian males’s nationwide staff participant. No stress.

Portugal welcome an precise match amid Ronaldo circus

“I don’t understand your persistence on this subject because there is nothing.” That was what Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva advised a swarm of reporters on Wednesday in regards to the roiling drama surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s membership scenario.

To recap, Ronaldo bashed Man United in a really public method, which has led to some awkward moments together with his teammates, and in the end him and the membership determined to go their separate methods. All this forward whereas Portugal prepares for Thursday’s sport in opposition to Ghana.

However to counter Silva’s beleaguered response, there’s one thing to this topic. It’s Ronaldo in spite of everything, eyeing a last shot to win the one main trophy not his cupboard, and now a free agent for golf equipment in January.

Sources have advised ESPN that Ronaldo — who didn’t communicate with reporters — is ready to begin in opposition to Ghana on Thursday, however that coach Fernando Santos is already enthusiastic about dropping him for his or her second sport in opposition to Uruguay. Santos nonetheless believes Ronaldo is Portugal’s greatest participant “in the box,” however provided that he is anticipating extra of the Uruguay sport to be performed between the 2 penalty areas, so he is contemplating different choices.

So whether or not Ronaldo’s function is extra tactical or an try to take the media glare of the staff, we will see. Regardless, there’s possible aid in Portugal’s camp simply to get the ball rolling.



Gab Marcotti feels Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Manchester United with instant impact will permit each the participant and the membership to maneuver on.

England vs. USA: Projections, oddmakers’ picks, updates

Whereas Black Friday actions within the U.S. are centered on standing outdoors an equipment retailer at 2 a.m. to purchase a brand new tv or washer, this 12 months you may add England vs. USA to your to-do actions.

With the US squad drawing in opposition to Wales two days again what are their odds of advancing out of their group? Is their match in opposition to England on Friday a must-win? If they do not, what can they have to they do in opposition to Iran within the final group match? We break down all of the eventualities and betting prospects right here.

As for a way the staff is feeling after that powerful 1-1 consequence in opposition to Wales, US midfielder Brenden Aaronson‘s description of the vibe within the locker room possible mirrored the broader feeling from the fan base.

“Disappointed,” he stated. “Everybody was pretty disappointed.”

All in all, count on some possible adjustments within the lineup in opposition to England. Aaronson might be beginning in opposition to for Weston McKennie within the midfield, and there be extra switches in up entrance and within the protection. Learn up on the most recent from what we’re listening to from the US camp.

And as for England, they’re feeling a sigh of aid as star striker Harry Kane ought to be go to regardless of an ankle damage scare, sources have advised ESPN. The 29-year-old underwent a scan which is believed to have been extra precautionary than in response to a deterioration in his situation after he was substituted with 14 minutes remaining of Monday’s 6-2 win over Iran.



Sam Borden reviews from Qatar as UMNT stars Yunus Musah and Cameron Carter-Vickers are keen to indicate England what they’re lacking.

The very best bits from at the moment

After fractured cranium, Raul Jimenez’s street again to Mexico squad has been outstanding
Two years have handed since his critical head damage, and whereas Raul be key if Mexico make a World Cup run, his return in itself is a pleasure.

Spain thrash Costa Rica, begin World Cup marketing campaign in type as Gavi makes historical past
Spain delivered a masterclass in opposition to Costa Rica of their World Cup opener, proving Luis Enrique’s aspect could make a deep run for the trophy.

Courtois denies superior Canada aspect and secures undeserved Belgium win
Belgium performed poorly in opposition to Canada, with Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne invisible. Nevertheless it did not matter due to their goalkeeper.

Your greatest bets (odds by way of Caesars Sportsbook)

In the event you’re trying to guess on the World Cup, ESPN contributors Paul Carr, Dan Thomas and Dalen Cuff are right here to present you key ideas on odds, choices and futures.

This is what we’ve for the Thursday matches.

Group G

Switzerland (-135) vs. Cameroon (+420), Draw (+240)

Dalen Cuff: Switzerland is coming off a formidable run to the quarterfinals in final summer season’s Euros which included taking out France within the Spherical of 16. Basically that very same squad is again now who topped their group in qualifying forward of Italy. I nonetheless have questions on their potential to attain, however know their protection and method on the again is so stable, solely permitting two objectives in eight qualifying matches. I just like the Swiss to maintain a clear sheet +100.

Paul Carr: I like each groups to get a purpose on this one (+120), with every staff stronger within the midfield and assault than on the again. It is at all times doable one staff or the opposite will get conservative and locks issues down defensively, however that is not Cameroon’s type. Cameroon-born striker Breel Embolo might do the scoring honors for Switzerland, whereas Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Toko Ekambi will discover a technique to get Cameroon on the board.

Daniel Thomas: I believe that is going to be a low scoring affair. I would take the beneath 1.5 objectives (+200).

Brazil (-225) vs. Serbia (+625), Draw (+330)

Cuff: I like Serbia’s staff, so this is not a play about their futility extra so Brazil’s dominance. When folks consider Brazil, they assume aptitude, offense, O Jogo Bonito… they’ve that in spades however defensively they’re so stable. Solely permitting 5 objectives in all of South American qualifying and possessing arguably the perfect keeper on the earth in Alisson. I like Brazil to win 2-0 (+145).

Carr: Brazil appears sure to attain right here, with 9 (!) high quality forwards on the roster and a median of two.4 objectives per sport in qualifying. Serbia’s protection is stable and likewise gave up a minimum of one purpose in 11 of 14 qualifiers and Nations League video games over the previous two years. So I believe we get objectives right here, come what may, and I like over 2.5 objectives (-135), even with Aleksandar Mitrovic a matchday choice due to damage.

Thomas: Right here we go then the favorites to win all of it. Brazil have been a lot enjoyable to look at of late and hopefully they’ll carry that high quality into this match. Let’s hope for plenty of objectives. I am taking up 3.5 (+185).

Group H

Uruguay (-130) vs. South Korea (+400), Draw (+240)

Cuff: Son Heung-Min could also be extra worthwhile to his South Korean staff than any participant within the match. Coming off that facial fracture, he has educated with a face masks on it appears he’ll play. Son’s kind stays a query whereas Uruguay has an awesome mixture of veterans which have had success on this match and younger blood now invigorating the group. I like Uruguay to win the group +185 and begin sturdy of their opener. Uruguay to win (-135).

Carr: Dalen mainly stole my total spiel right here, as I additionally had Uruguay to win this group pre-tournament. Uruguay simply has a lot expertise at each place, and a perfect mix of youth and expertise. South Korea is healthier than you most likely assume, and Napoli‘s Kim Min-Jae will at all times give the protection an opportunity. However that Uruguay midfield pair of Federico Valverde and Rodrigo Bentancur ought to be the distinction in an Uruguay win (-135).

Thomas: I really like Valverde and the chances for him to attain anytime at +450 seems beneficiant to say the least.

Portugal (-270) vs. Ghana (+850), Draw (+340)

Cuff: I believe Portugal is healthier with out Cristiano Ronaldo within the beginning XI. Couple that together with his exit from Manchester United, has led to an icy and uncomfortable dynamic inside the squad which was seen when Ronaldo confirmed as much as Portugal’s camp. Supervisor Fernando Santos will not sit him. In the meantime, Ghana has some previous heads that know what it is wish to get out of the group nonetheless on this roster. I just like the Black Stars to get a consequence, my play is the Double Likelihood (win or draw) +200.

Thomas: Ronaldo anytime scorer +120. It needs to be him.

Information and notes

What else caught our eye

Not solely did Japan get the upset over Germany however their followers additionally continued an exquisite postmatch custom that has now been practiced at a number of main tournaments.

And to shut out, you may have most likely seen Saudi Arabia’s game-winning stunner over Argentina by now on each spotlight reel and throughout all angles. However, have you ever seen it re-enacted with a bunch of Legos?



Salem Al-Dawsari’s profitable purpose for Saudi Arabia in opposition to Argentina on the World Cup recreated in Lego.

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