2014 FIFA World Cup group stage analysis and predictions
The 2014 FIFA World Cup is only 40 days away and the groups look very interesting. The groups are and winners are Group A: Brazil; Croatia; Mexico; Cameroon. Brazil and very hard fought second will be Croatia because Brazil has recovered there fast and smooth tempo of play that they lost for a bit, then you perfect mix of young and old talent with Neymar, Marcelo, Fred, Hulk, Dani Alves, David Luiz. and so on and so on. Croatia will take because i feel Cameroon may have the pace but not sufficient level of play and Mexico i feel does not get enough competition in there qualifiers to help them improve. Then on top that Mexico barely made it in which they should of made it top 2 with the U.S in the qualifiers.
Group B: Spain; Netherlands; Chile; Austria. This group is very clean and cut choice it would be the 2 of Europe’s powerhouse teams Spain and Netherlands. Unfortunately for Chile a team who grown in the past few years they would have play two of the best national teams in the world and i would say they will not make it to the best of 16. Group C: Colombia; Greece; Cote d’Ivoire; Japan. This group is going to be much more even and hard fought but Colombia who is going through a very good moment in there football but the x-factor would be if Radamel Falco will recover from his knee injury because he is a very important peace in there on offense. Then the second team that will make it would be Japan barely muscling out Cote d’Ivoire because Japan is a team raising the level on the way they play football.
Group D: Uruguay; Costa Rica; England; Italy. Sadly enough Costa Rica does not have a shot in this group. England and Italy would be my choices to make it to the next round because both teams are trying to recover there dominance in European football. Although do not be surprised if Uruguay pulls an upset on a Italy team who are still not at there highest level yet. Because Uruguay has many players in there prime like Luis Suarez, Cavani, Godin, and Fernando Muslera. England to me is a sleeper that a lot of people are overlooking and i can see they moving all the way the semi-finals.
Group E: Switzerland; Ecuador; France; Honduras. France will dominate this group and will not lose a single game in this group. Coming in second will be Ecuador that can out class Switzerland and Honduras on the field having a strong overall squad but there defense can be very inconsistent. Group F: Argentina; Bosnia and Herzegonvina; Iran; and Nigeria. Argentina lucked out in with this group because this is the group that has the lowest level of football. Argentina will win all there games in this group and humiliate all of they by a large score because of the large amount of all stars in Argentina that are going trough there best moment. In second will Nigeria for the main fact that Nigeria is a fast and strong physical team.
Group G: Germany; Portugal; Ghana; USA. This is a very simple cut dry group Germany and Portugal will move on to the next stage. Germany is one of my favorites on making it to the finals and Portugal i can only see them making it to the quarter finals. Although if Ronaldo, Pepe, Neto, Coentrao, and Moutinho can perform at there highest level they can be sleeper for the final. Ghana and USA will not stand a chance against Germany and Portugal in this group. Group H: Belgium; Algeria; Russia; and Korea Republic. Belgium I feel is the most under rated team in this world cup who has the potential to go far. They will come in first and Russia will come in a hard fought second but the real challenge is Korea Republic. Which that match up has shown to to be very even but i will give to Russia.
This world cup group stage will be very interesting and my 3 favorite teams from the group stage to make it to the final would be Brazil, Germany, and Spain. My 3 sleepers are Belgium, Portugal, and Japan who have the potential to pull some upsets past the group stage.
5/3/2014 -Kevin Arana