Monday, June 2, 2014

Group E

Switzerland (FIFA#8) While they have been to the World Cup tournament numerous times they have never really done much.  Last World Cup they did beat the eventual champion, Spain, in their first game but then failed to make it out of the group stage.  With their competition in this group I think they will make it out of the group stage in second place behind France.  While their FIFA rank is quite high I wouldn't put too much weight in it.

Player to watch: Xherdan Shaqiri - A speedy left footed winger who currently plays for Bayern Munich.

Ecuador (28) This will be the third World Cup appearance by La Tri.  In 2006 they made it out of the group stage but I do not seeing it happen this time.  In qualifying they were undefeated at home but struggled on the road.  While they will be used to climate I think the big stage will rattle them.

Player to watch: Antonio Valencia - This winger has played for Man U since 2009.  While his career peaked a few years ago, he is still a threat and can cause problems for defenders.

France (16) Les Bleus have been a dominant force in international soccer for many years.  Unfortunately the last 4 or so have not been too kind to them.  Last World Cup one player was kicked off the team and the players boycotted training before their third game.  They did not make it out of the group stage and were ripped by the media and fans.  This is a chance for redemption as they are in a weaker group.  I think France will win this group decisively.

Players to watch: Franck Ribery - I really, really dislike this guy but I can't deny that he has massive amounts of talent.  He is fast and extremely talented with the ball.  Ribery is often considered one of the best players in the world.  Oliver Giroud - This Arsenal striker is known for his goal scoring and great passes in the box.

Honduras (30) After a somewhat disappointing appearance in the 2010 World Cup, Honduras went through a youth movement and started bringing up many players.  This resulted in Honduras ending up in third place in CONCACAF and qualifying for another World Cup.  While they were able to beat Mexico in Azteca stadium in 2013 I do not seem them producing any more surprising victories.  I think they will end with two loses and maybe a tie to Ecuador.

Player to watch: Emilio Izaguirre - Currently playing for Celtic, this left back is known for known for also being an offensive weapon and giving great crosses.

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