Get your snacks and drinks ready, your fingers warmed up and your TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones fired up. This afternoon features seven important matches, most of which are being televised concurrently. And then one match later in the day to help us recover from our Friday soccer high.
If you live in the United States, here’s today’s schedule of matches on TV and Internet:
Iceland vs Croatia (World Cup playoff match, 1st leg), 2pm, WatchESPN.com
Portugal vs Sweden (World Cup playoff match, 1st leg), 2:45pm, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.com
Ukraine vs France (World Cup playoff match, 1st leg), 2:45pm, WatchESPN.com
Greece vs Romania (World Cup playoff match, 1st leg), 2:45pm, ESPN3.com
Italy vs Germany (friendly), 2:45pm, Univision Deportes
Scotland vs USA (friendly), 3pm, ESPN2, UniMas and WatchESPN.com
England vs Chile (friendly), 3pm, FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes and FOX Soccer 2GO
Argentina vs Ecuador (friendly), 7:55pm, beIN SPORT, beIN SPORT Espanol and DishWorld
Read: World Cup playoffs preview.
Four of the matches are crucial World Cup playoff games. Take your pick from Iceland-Croatia, Portugal-Sweden, Ukraine-France and Greece-Romania. All four tell their own story and are worthy of standing alone. But I’m sure that many of us will have our eyes glued to more than one of these matches live, at the same time.
Tip: If you watch the game on WatchESPN.com, you can use the mosaic feature to watch all four games at once on one screen. Prescription glasses are not included.
And if you’re an USMNT or England fan, that adds even more complexity. While you always want to watch your national team play, you also want to keep focused on the World Cup playoff matches. However, I would add that I don’t expect any of the four World Cup playoff matches today to be barnstormers. They’re more likely to be nervy, low-scoring matches — perhaps all four of them could end up being draws, or 1-0 victories — in the lead-up to Tuesday’s finale (where we again have the added complexity of England and USA playing their own friendlies too).
Ah the tough life of being a soccer fan!
To make sense out of all of this chaos, join us in the comments section before, during and after the matches. If you’re watching a game that we should tune in to, let us know in the comments section below. We’ll try to help you out too if we see a fascinating development.