I think we all know how giddy I can get when it comes to the footie and I haven’t had a chance to get into any specifics or predictions for the upcoming Brazil 2014 World Cup but hey, why not take a preliminary look at the groups for the round of 32? What’s the worst that could happen? I’m wrong? No, this Cup’s draw certainly has some interesting pots in the first round, but now that all qualifying has ended and we’ve seen what the national selections are capable of, predicting the first dance with Diana is kinda easy.
With host Brazil, competitive Croatia and a Cameroon and Mexico that are shadows of their former selves, I expect Brazil to swing easy out of this one but I expect Cameroon and Mexico to complicate things for Croatia into the next round. Passing through: Brazil and Croatia.
Returning champions Spain and runners-up the Netherlands in the same grouping, their match could be one of the most interesting in the opening salvo of action. Unless Chile and Australia ‘roid it up, it’s criminal how this group turned up. Passing through: Spain and the Netherlands.
Colombia, Greece, Côte d’Ivoire and Japan. Colombia had some strong showing in their qualification phase but with Falcao’s recent injury in mind, their contention has gone down a bit. I see Ivory Coast being marginally stronger than our South American fellows and the Hellenic contention. Passing through: Côte d’Ivoire and Japan.
This is one of the bona fide stronger groups with an England that has something to prove, an Italy that hasn’t been up to standard, Uruguay having to fend for itself against different styles of play and a Costa Rica that could’ve done a little bit more during qualifiers. I hate to feel this way but I see Uruguay sneaking through on a Costa Rican mistake and Italy taking it for the European contingent. Passing through: Uruguay and Italy.
Switzerland always manages to get itself into places. However with the competition coming from France, Ecuador (still reeling from “Chucho” Benitez’s death) and a less experienced Honduras, the passes are somewhat obvious. Passing through: Ecuador and France.
Argentina. Bosnia-Herzegovina. Nigeria. Iran. Argentina easy. Bosnia-Herzegovina will enjoy their first Cup dance and exit promptly for some of that Brazilian nightlife. Nigeria and Iran will duke it for the second spot and I’m giving it to Nigeria. Passing through: Argentina and Nigeria.
This is an interesting group. Germany, the US, Ghana and Portugal. Will the USA pass through? One can only hope that the Stars and Stripes does it but with the German robots and Portugal’s fluid play, I see these chances diminished. Ghana is no joke either. I see them giving the Europeans a bit of a headache. Passing through: Germany and Portugal.
With Belgium, Algeria, Russia and South Korea in the mix, something tells me this group might not be the most exciting to watch. Nothing against the teams, I just don’t see any fireworks. Passing through: South Korea and Russia.
Surely before the big dance I’ll have some more things to discuss, but in the meantime let me know how you feel about these teams making it through to the round of 16.
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