GROUP F: NIGERIA VS. ARGENTINA
Where: Porto Alegre. Time: 9 a.m. PDT.
TV: ESPN, Univision.
The buzz: Thanks to a pair of game-winning goals from Lionel Messi, Argentina has already qualified for the second round and could win the group with anything short of a loss to Nigeria. But the Africans, who stand second in the group table, still have a little work to do. A win or a draw here sends Nigeria through, but a 1-0 loss combined with a 1-0 Iranian win in the other group-play final will complicate things. Plus Nigeria could be short-handed because midfielders Victor Moses and Reuben Gabriel and defender Godfrey Oboabona are all doubtful with injuries.
GROUP F: BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA VS. IRAN
Where: Salvador. Time: 9 a.m. PDT.
TV: ESPN2, UniMas/Galavision.
The buzz: Iran still has a chance to go through but to do so it will have to do something it hasn't done in this World Cup — score a goal. It has played surprisingly well, allowing only a stoppage-time goal to Argentina's Lionel Messi in two games. It has yet to find the net itself, though. However, if Iran wins 1-0 and Nigeria loses to Argentina by the same score, the teams would be tied with four points and have an equal number of goals for and against. And because Iran and Nigeria played to a scoreless draw in their opener, which country goes on to the next round could be determined by the drawing of lots, a tiebreaker that has never been used in a World Cup to determine who advances and who is eliminated. Bosnia-Herzegovina, meanwhile, has been eliminated and comes into its final game looking for its first win.
GROUP E: HONDURAS VS. SWITZERLAND
Where: Manaus. Time: 1 p.m. PDT.
TV: ESPN2, UniMas, Galavision.
The buzz: Honduras, which scored its first World Cup goal in 32 years in its last game, faces an even more difficult task in trying to advance, needing both a win and a French victory over Ecuador to have a chance. But it can complicate things for Switzerland, which needs no worse than a draw here provided Ecuador loses to France. When Switzerland and Honduras met in similar circumstances in the last World Cup, a scoreless draw eliminated both. The Swiss will be without central defender Steve von Bergen, who broke a bone in his face and is out for the rest of the tournament.
GROUP E: ECUADOR VS. FRANCE
Where: Rio de Janeiro. Time: 1 p.m. PDT.
TV: ESPN, Univision.
The buzz: France will start Wednesday atop the group table with a three-point lead over Ecuador and Switzerland and an even bigger lead in goal differential, the first tiebreaker should the teams finish with the same record. There is a scenario in which France could still be eliminated but it's a longshot. Of more importance here is Ecuador's battle with Switzerland for the second spot in the group, with the South Americans needing a win to assure themselves of advancing. France will be missing midfielder Yohan Cabaye to a pair of yellow cards.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times