First, I have a question. According to the previews, Matt has a bad cut on his foot. Given the environment that he is in, don't they usually have a doctor look at it and bandage it up to keep dirt out of it? Since Matt was blindsided and did not have his things with him at TC, it looks like he has been forced to wear flip flops his whole time on RI.
Now for the merge, it appears that everyone is watching the duel, so I guess that the winner will get to pick the tribe that he/she wants to go back to. I hope that it will be a challenge that Matt can easily win despite his injured foot. That would make the game so much more interesting than Sarita winning. Matt has such a disadvantage right now by not knowing what has been going on during his absence - like how tight the alliance with Rob really is and who he can even trust at this point. It would seem like he will have the biggest target on his back going into the merge - if he can not win individual immunity. Rob will want his cronies to take Matt out of the game for good.
I know that it is being played up how throwing that challenge to get rid of Russell has come back to bite Zapatera, but let's look at the facts. That entire tribe has been underachieving on just about every challenge. You would think that Julie and Mike would be really good at physical challenges, but there seems to be a limit to what they can do. Ralph was a star in one of the earlier challenges, but he has seemed to fade as the weeks go by. So, I think that there isn't anyone on Zapatera like Grant or Rob that excel in the challenges. Therefore, it has more to do with WHO ended up on that tribe and less to do with eliminating Russell when they did. And there is also a certain amount of luck involved since Zapatera has had some close losses. But that is just how I see it.