Thursday, May 22, 2014

Group A

After each group was drawn, back in December 2013, I did a quick little write up on how I thought each team would fair.  Much more soccer has been played since then with different players getting hurt and some players rising to great form.  I figured it was time to look at the groups again and give my predictions.

Group A


Brazil (FIFA #4)  There probably hasn't ever been a host team with as much pressure on them to perform as the Brazilians.  Since winning the Confederations Cup people seem to think that they are the clear favorite.  I am not so sure.  This is a Brazilian team that is still growing and developing.  I definitely think they will win the group stage though.

Players to watch: Neymar - kid has crazy skill and can do amazing things with the ball.  He also is an amazing diver.  David Luiz aka Sideshow Bob will probably score a header goal at some point.

Croatia (#20)  In qualifying for the World Cup these guys started off cruising...and then the wheels fell off for some reason.  After barely qualifying their manager resigned and they are now under new leadership.  Can they regroup and get second place in Group A? Unfortunately I don't think they can and will barely miss the cut to Mexico.

Players to watch: Luka Modric - a great playmaker who makes some amazing passes.  Mario Mandzukic - a big forward who currently plays for Bayern Munich.  Unfortunately, due to a red card he will miss the first game.

Mexico (#19) Their last group game should be a great one against Croatia.  I can see both teams playing for the second position in this one.  Mexico always makes it out of the group stage and then lose.  Seriously, they have done that the last 5 times.  I think that will happen again.  Mexico has been struggling the last year and only qualified because of some help from the USA.  I think they will be able to get it together with their new coach to just squeak by and then lose.

Players to watch: Chicharito - while he struggles to get playing time for Man U he is still really talented.  Giovani dos Santos - little man is crazy fast and usually plays on the wing but as of late he has been wanting to play more attacker for Villareal.

Cameroon (#50) These guys struggled a bit to qualify against some lesser African teams.  Historically however, they seem to show up and play decently in the World Cup.  They could pull out a surprise here but I think in the end they will up in 4th.

Player to watch: Samuel Eto'o - the 33 yr old was off in Russia playing out the end of his career when he took a massive pay cut to play for Chelsea.  He then proceeded to score 9 goals in 21 appearances proving that he is still a force.  There were rumors he was going to come to MLS but after this last season I don't see that happening.

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