Brazil return to action, final four make bow

Brazil, who will take to the pitch for the 99th time in the tournament on Tuesday, have a chance to take a massive step towards the knockout stages against Mexico, who emerged victorious from their closely contested game against Cameroon on Friday (1-0).

 The familiar foes have met 38 times; Brazil have come out on top 22 times, while the spoils have been shared on six occasions. At the World Cup, A Seleção also enjoy a superior record, having won their three encounters with a combined goal difference of 11 to zero.

Elsewhere, the four nations that make up Group H finally take centre stage. Returning to the World Cup after a 12-year absence, Belgium will be looking to get off to a solid start against Algeria.

 Both teams were unbeaten during their warm-up games and have only previously played each other twice in friendly matches (3-1 in favour of Belgium and 0-0).

 Russia, meanwhile, are keen to make a mark on the competition in view of the hosting duties they will take on in 2018. Their opponents, Korea Republic, have made it clear that they regard qualifying from the group stage for the third time in their history as a realistic possibility. 

The matches

Belgium-Algeria (Group H), Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte, 13.00 (local time)

Brazil-Mexico (Group A), Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza, 16.00 (local time)


Russia-Korea Republic (Group H), Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba, 18.00 (local time)

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