The schedule at a glance – it’s Wednesday in the World Cup – Sport

The schedule at a glance - it's Wednesday in the World Cup - Sport

Germany, Spain, Belgium and Croatia intervene in the tournament. In the studio: Mladen Petric and Diego Benaglio.


Croatian heart and lungs

At the age of 37, Luka Modric is probably fighting his last World Cup. In Qatar, the 2018 finalists have big plans.


Following France and England the previous day, the co-favourites European quartet are set to start the World Cup on Wednesday: Germany, Spain, Croatia and Belgium. With Canada, a team is making a long-awaited return to the World Cup after 36 years.

11:00 Morocco v Croatia (Group F)

  • Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
  • SRF 2 at 10:30 am

He was born in Zadar and seeks to crown his national team career in Qatar: even at 37, Luka Modric is still the heart (and often the lungs) of the Croatian team. In any case, the “Checkers” are in enviable form: Denmark and France were left behind in the Nations League. However, the debut against Morocco would hardly be a sure success. “Lions of the Atlas” rely on well-known names. Worth mentioning here are full-backs Noussair Mazrouei (Bayern) and Achraf Hakimi (PSG), playmaker Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea) and striker Youssef An-Nesri (Seville).

2:00 PM: Germany vs. Japan (Group E)

  • Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
  • 1:30 PM on SRF 2

In a duel with one of the World Cup favourites, Japan relies on insider knowledge: 7 veterans of the German Bundesliga are in the squad, with Düsseldorf’s Ao Tanaka joining the second division team. The team’s star is Frankfurt’s Daichi Kamada, with Arsenal’s Takahiro Tomiyasu bringing Premier League talent to the ranks of the “Blue Samurai”. However, from the German point of view, Japan should not become an obstacle. The goals are traditionally high, should the winning genes not least bring the Bayern-Munich axis onto the pitch. Not a sick Leroy Sane, at least in the early game.

17:00 Spain-Costa Rica (Group E)

  • Al Thumama Stadium, Doha
  • 1:30 PM on SRF 2

Luis Enrique relies mostly on focused youngsters: Pedri, Gavi and Fati to bring the 2010 world champion back to the glory days, when he himself had not yet reached double-digit numbers of his life. Teenagers are surrounded by accumulated experience. While Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique are no longer part of the squad, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Álvaro Morata, who are all over 30 at the club, are likely to feature. Underdog Costa Rica felt comfortable in the underdog role in 2014 and reached the quarterfinals. Also present again: keeper Keller Navas and now 37-year-old captain Bryan Ruiz.

8 pm: Belgium vs Canada (Group F)

  • Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
  • SRF 2 at 7:30 pm

Even though Belgium starts as secret favorites in a major tournament this year, the emphasis is more on “secret” than “favourites”. Several big names are not in optimal condition for the World Cup after injuries and form woes (Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Thomas Meunier). The fact that Canada serves as an ideal opponent for the “Red Devils” around director Kevin de Bruyne should also be seriously doubted. Finally, returning to the World Cup stage after 36 years, Canada has some lightning-fast players. Key ones to mention would be Bayern’s Alphonso Davies and OSC Lille’s Jonathan David. Also present: Liam Miller of Basel.

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