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World Cup: What to watch Day 9

England's fate is in Italy's hands as the group of death rumbles on, and France and Switzerland vie for the top spot in Group E

The last time the Swiss played, this happened.
The last time the Swiss played, this happened.
Matthew Lewis

Well dang. It's a long road back for England now, and I can't blame any of their fans who may be wallowing in existential despair right now. Two losses from two games in a very "of death" group and now only a miracle will bring them through to the last 16. A miracle in this case would consist of Italy beating both Costa Rica and Uruguay and England also beating Costa Rica. Meanwhile, as college basketball analyst John Rothstein tweets every morning, the dogs bark, but the caravan rolls on. No, I don't know what it means either.

Italy vs Costa Rica, 12 PM - ESPN
This is where it begins for England fans, as they need Italy to win to keep the Three Lions alive. After falling behind Uruguay in their first game, Costa Rica ran riot and were good value for their 3-1 victory. Italy, you may recall, beat England 2-1 their first time out on a brilliant strike by Claudio Marchisio and an opportunistic header by Mario Balotelli. Balotelli tweeted that he wants a kiss (on the cheek, obviously) from the queen of England if Italy win this game and keep English hopes alive. I have to think a soccer superstar might be able to do a little better in the kiss department in Brazil, but let's hope he earns that smooch.

If this game were your lunch, it would be: a trip to an unfamiliar taco truck. There's so much at stake here but so much unknown. It could give you that midday boost and leave you with a little hope for tomorrow, or it could end up with you spending the afternoon weeping softly between trips to the commode.

Switzerland vs France, 3 PM - ESPN
France played Honduras in their first match, so all we really learned from their 3-0 win was that they can take care of business. Switzerland, on the other hand, provided one of the moments of the Cup with their goal in second half stoppage time to take all three points in the opener. If there's a winner here, that team will have one foot in the last 16, pending the result of the final game of the day. Look for the Swiss to try to exploit space in wide areas against France's overlapping fullbacks. High balls into the box have been troubling the Swiss defense, but France's best work is done in keeping the ball on the deck and working through Mathieu Valbuena.

If this game were your afternoon snack, it would be: a co-worker dropping by your desk to tell you that there are good donuts in the break room and he has just put a fresh pot on and you should help yourself. Solid no matter what, and there's a chance it turns out really well.

Honduras vs Ecuador, 6 PM - ESPN
Honduras got spanked by France in their opener and had Wilson Palacios sent off, so it's hard to see where they're going to find quality in this game. Ecuador, meanwhile, had their chances against the Swiss side who holds the top seed in this group. The Ecuadorian side is most dangerous on the break, but it would be surprising to see Honduras in an aggressive enough set up to leave spaces at the back. If there is an early Ecuador goal, the game will likely open up. If not, hope for something special from a set piece.

If this game were your dinner, it would be: leftovers. Not inspiring enough to send you back for seconds the first time, it's unlikely to get any better after a trip through the microwave.