The 2014 World Cup Draw is matching up some fairly interesting games. It’s certainly going to be interesting as Spain will face Netherlands in the opening match of Group B and the USMNT along with England are in the Groups of Death. There are 200 (give or take a few) days till Brazil kick things off against Croatia, but it’s never too early to start making predictions and breaking down the groups.
First let’s start with the results of the draw and then break it down from there:
Group A: 1. Brazil, 2. Croatia, 3. Mexico, 4. Cameroon
Group B: 1. Spain, 2. Netherlands, 3. Chile, 4. Australia
Group C: 1. Colombia, 2. Greece, 3. Ivory Coast, 4. Japan
Group D: 1. Uruguay, 2. Costa Rica, 3. England, 4. Italy
Group E: 1. Switzerland, 2. Ecuador, 3. France, 4. Honduras
Group F: 1. Argentina, 2. Bosnia-Herzegovina, 3. Iran, 4. Nigeria
Group G: 1. Germany, 2. Portugal, 3. Ghana, 4. United States
Group H: 1. Belgium, 2. Algeria, 3. Russia, 4. South Korea
Let’s take a look at Group A where the hosts, Brazil, will kick things off against Croatia on June 12th. Cameroon haven’t advanced further than the Group stage since 1990, and Croatia rely strongly on Mario Mandzukic, who might not be present for two of their games. Mexico are lucky to even be in the World Cup, they’ll obviously take advantage of the weak group setting. From the looks of it, this is a fairly easy group for the Host Nation… and Mexico. Group Prediction; Brazil in first, Mexico in second.
Group B’s kickoff is one that everyone is looking forward to. It’s a match-up between 2010’s final two teams Netherlands and Spain. The game saw a record 14 yellow cards, and two red cards for Netherlands’ players. It should be a great game that will set the tone for this Group. Chile could be the surprising team in this group as they attack their opponents by constantly pressing forward. This will be one of the groups to watch. Group Prediction; Spain in first, Chile in second.
There isn’t much to say about Group C. It’s a chill group and Colombia, along with Greece, should have no problem advancing to the knockout stage due to their defenses be strong and their players with individual talents. Group Prediction; Greece in first, Colombia in second.
Group D is another group that is being dubbed as ‘The Group of Death’. England will have to face Euro 2012 runner-up Italy, as well as Uruguay (who played fairly well in the 2010 WC) and Costa Rica (who play well at home, but not on the road). Group Prediction; Uruguay in first, Italy in second.
Group E is also one of the easiest groups on paper and not a very exciting match-up. Group Prediction; France in first, Ecuador in second.
Group F seems like another easy group, if you’re Argentina. Argentina will have to face Nigeria, who they played fiercely against in the 2010 World Cup. Bosnia is the only newcomer in the group of 32, but they are also a team to look out for. They should have no problem advancing to the knock-out stage. Group Prediction; Argentina in first, Bosnia in second.
Ahh, Group G how I loathe thee. It’s another ‘Group of Death’ for the USMNT. US will face a couple of rivals; they’ll face Jurgen’s old club (Germany) and Ghana… Yup, the same Ghana that knocked US out of the past two World Cups, which would make it that much sweeter to win. Group Prediction; Germany in first, Portugal in second. Sorry USMNT, my heart says pick you but my head is saying ‘yikes’.
Finally, Group H. Belgium are in their first World Cup since 2002 and they are in a group that could see them advancing to the knockout stage. Fabio Cappella’s team could surprise a lot a of people in this group as they are one of the favorites to reach the knock-out stage. Group Prediction; Belgium in first, Russia in second.
The stage is set and it will certainly be an interesting World Cup!