2014 World Cup Group Drawing Analysis

Posted: December 9, 2013 by ericbernsen in Sports
Tags: , , ,

It’s almost that special time in soccer again as the drawing for the 2014 World Cup was announced earlier this week. The groupings created some solid story lines for many countries across the world, especially here in the U.S as they will face some stiff competition. A lot can change over the next seven months, but let’s take a look at each group and provide an overview of what we can expect.

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

  • It appears that host country Brazil has a rather favorable draw here. Croatia declined as a team during the qualifying rounds and Cameroon will be outclassed despite this being the seventh appearance in the finals, which is a record for an African country. Mexico has a ton of potential coming into the World Cup and should be high in confidence coming into the tournament. Nevertheless, Brazil should be the dominant team coming out of the group

Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia

  • Spain looks to be at the top of the group, but not without some doubt and questions. The country has excelled in international tournaments recently, however it won’t be an easy feat for the team to continue at this high level. The Netherlands and Chile will be tough tests for the Spaniards. The Dutch are now led by head coach Louis van Gaal and they went through the qualifying rounds pretty smoothly. Veteran Robin van Persie will be the talk of the team, but in reality this squad is a young one and they will have to rise to the challenge to advance. It is a tough draw for Chile, but this is a team that will be respected by Spain and the Netherlands. Chile will have the advantage of facing a weak Australian team, but overall this will be a competitive group.

Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan

  • This is a nice draw for the Colombian squad that finished just two points behind Argentina in the qualifying rounds. Former Argentinian head coach Jose Pekerman now leads Colombia and has made them a formidable opponent in recent years. Greece is a team that lacks consistency, but always has the ability to pull off an upset when people least expect it. Ivory Coast finally finds itself in a manageable grouping, however this team is not as strong as it was in recent years. Japan is a solid side yet struggles defensively, which should prove to be their downfall in this group. Colombia should advance, but the next spot is up for grabs in my opinion.

Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy

  • Uruguay was a semi-finalist at the 2010 World Cup and they have shown a strong ability to stand strong against tough competition. Other teams have struggled to stop Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, but if they can be contained then Uruguay may be in trouble. England and Italy are the other two big names in this grouping. The hype in the UK is always sky high for the British, so there will be some pressure on Roy Hodgson for his squad to advance. Italy is typically a slow starter in group play, but Mario Balotelli is an X-factor for the squad and head coach Cesare Prandelli should have the supporting cast ready to go. Costa Rica is capable of knocking off any of these teams as they showed consistency in the qualifying rounds, but it is certainly a tough draw. This drawing easily has “Group of Death” potential.

Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras

  • Switzerland is a team on the upswing, going undefeated in group qualifying. Head coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has a solid group of players, and they should be able to move on from this round relatively easily. Ecuador is a team that excels at home, but road match wins have not come as easily. France is an unpredictable squad as they have the talent to advance, yet just as easily they could be sent packing in the first round. Honduras will be hard-pressed to get through these competitors, so I say it will be the Swiss and either France/Ecuador advancing from this stage.

Group F: Argentina, Bosnia, Iran, Nigeria

  • This is a dream for Argentina as this balanced squad with superstar Lionel Messi as well as Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain should coast through this group. Bosnia showed some toughness getting through the qualifying rounds, but this team will only advance as far as their defense allows them to. Iran also impressed in the qualifying rounds, yet it will take some magic for them to get to the round of 16. Nigeria is one of the strongest African sides in the World Cup, but the team has a lack of experience playing in this kind of spotlight. The squad can capitalize off other teams mistakes, but potential will only take a team so far. I think it will be between Bosnia and Nigeria to advance along with heavy favorite Argentina.

Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA

  • This group has officially been termed the “Group of Death”, and deservedly so. However, the Germans are used to facing stiff competition and this deep squad will not be phased. Portugal is another stacked team here as all eyes will be on the performance of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has the ability to take the team to the finals all by himself. Nevertheless, it should take more than one player to get by the likes of Germany and Ghana. Ghana has a lot of players returning from the 2010 World Cup, but once again they are faced with a challenging grouping. And we are left with the good ol USA, who are faced with an unbelievable test. The U.S. will have to get by Ghana in order to have any chance of advancing, and that is no easy task. Look for Germany and Portugal to move on in this drawing.

Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea

  • Belgium is a team that many people are labeling as a squad to watch. They have a good chance of advancing in this group, but the lack of experience may hurt them later on in the tournament. Algeria is a squad that prides itself on its defense, but they have a chronic problem of not being able to put the ball in the net. Russia will host the World Cup in 2018, yet this is a team that is ready to make some noise now in 2014. It will be up to head coach Fabio Capello to make sure his team stays level-headed and if they do, they should advance. South Korea has shown history of keeping it close against tough competition, but it will be a tough feat for them to move on in this grouping. Belgium and Russia should move on in Group H.

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