Monday, May 26, 2014

Group D

Uruguay (FIFA #5) When the World Cup started until the 70s Uruguay was one of the world soccer super powers.  They then suffered a very long drought where they rarely played well or even qualified for a World Cup.  That all changed four years ago when they finished in fourth place in the tournament. This team is extremely talented and should definitely win this group.

Players to watch: Luis Suarez - This striker is currently one of the best players in the world having just won the Premier League Golden Boot with 31 goals in 33 games and being nominated the PFA Player of the Year.  He is a fiesty guy having been caught biting opposing players twice.   Dude also dives a lot.  I mean a lot.  Suarez is coming off of an injury but hopefully will be up to full speed in June.  Edinson Cavani - A striker with seemingly unlimited amounts of energy, this guys doesn't ever stop.  He also looks a lot better now that he got rid of the braces.

Costa Rica (34) Los Ticos is a decent team with a solid defense but unfortunately I don't see them playing very well away from home.  They will be up against too good of competition and I see them finishing 4th in this group.

Player to watch: Bryan Ruiz - This midfielder will be the focal point of the Costa Rican attack. Unfortunately he won't have much to work with.

England (11)  Being a member of the Three Lions is tough.  Due to the dominance of the English Premier League people expect England to always be one of the best teams.  People fail to remember that the EPL doesn't actually have a large percentage of English born players.  Just this year the EPL set a record low for English born players at 34.1%.  Now, that is still a pretty decent number of English born players in the league (75) but it doesn't mean they should automatically be considered one of the best nations out there.  Historically they have shown that they are not quite an elite team.  They are good, but not elite and open to collapsing on the big stage.  I think they will play hard and finish the group stage in second place.  England has a large number of young players who are starting to show off some serious abilities.

Players to watch: Wayne Rooney - I keep forgetting that he is only 28 years old.  While he has an older looking face he has also been on the national team since he was 17.  That's crazy.  He has great speed and a great knack for scoring goals.  Rooney is tough.  A couple of the young guys...Daniel Sturridge - In the last few years Sturridge has emerged as a very promising striker for England.  Jack Wilshere - A 22 year old central midfielder who plays for Arsenal.  Can play the whole field.

Italy (9) Historically Gli Azzuri have played some of the most boring soccer ever.  Score a goal and then just park the bus for the rest of the game.  Sooooo lame.  That has recently changed, however, as The Blues have committed to a more attacking style of soccer.  This is a team that is in transition and while they always seem to show up for the World Cup I think they will just miss the cut and end in third place.

Players to watch: Mario Balotelli - Maybe the biggest hot head in the tournament, this dude is mean but also extremely talented and scores some great goals.  Not many people have an ego like him either. Andrea Pirlo - At age 35 he is definitely a wily veteran.  Awesome on the free kicks.  Stephan El Shaarawy - Unfortunately The Pharaoh didn't get called to the team but keep an eye on him (His dad is Egyptian, hence the nickname).  Lots of talent and only 21 years old.  Also, crazy hair.  I'm really surprised he didn't get the call up.

No comments: