Some players and subplots you might want to pay attention to Wednesday:
• Washing away the sour exit of World Cup 2010….
The powerhouse match-up of Brazil-France gives the two teams another chance to another step away from their forgetful and regretful World Cup exits.
Brazil will run out new Chelsea man David Luiz partnered with Thiago Silva (Oguchi Onyewu’s pre-injury foil at AC Milan) and hope to infuse youth at the backbone while not missing a step.
The young tandem will be tested by two absentees from the France’s South African side in Samir Nasri and Karim Benzema.
• Scotland on the up-and-up?
Even with Darren Fletcher and West Brom’s Graham Dorrans out, Scotland boasts an EPL-quality laden squad heading into their clash with Northern Ireland tomorrow.
In the back eight, names such as Blackpool’s Charlie Adam, Tottenham’s Alan Hutton and Liverpool’s Danny Wilson will feature.
Up top? Former Ranger frontman Kenny Miller gets the armband and is off to a sizzling start at Jozy Altidore’s Bursaspor with two goals in his first three games.
• Thiago Motta (Italy)
Yes, the man lining up at the catalyst in the midfield for an Azurri team that recently boasted such pure Italian last names as Gattuso and Pirlo is…in fact…a native of Brazil.
That makes the fact that on-fire Giuseppi Rossi is an American nearly an afterthought.
Italy take on the German machine in another immovable object clash.
• The Guus Hiddink Invitational
Turkey takes on South Korea in a battle of two speedy sides and two sides that Guus Hiddink has once called “mine.”
Hiddink of course is in the employ of Turkey and it was Hiddink’s run with South Korea in 2002, laying waste to Italy and Spain until they slammed into Germany.
Hamit Altintop for Turkey, a TSG fave.
• Who we playing?
In typical CAF fashion, South Africa now plays Kenya tomorrow after claiming at alternate times over the past month that opponents Zambia and Burkina Faso were done deals.