Teams, Players, And The Rising Excitement: Analysing The Groups Of FIFA 2014 (Group A)

Posted on June 6, 2014 in Sports

By Aritra Mukherjee:

A fan shouts out the player’s name, vuvuzelas go up a decibel and the ball beats the keeper and enters the net. Sounds familiar? Of course it does, for at least 3 billion people follow this enticing game known to us as football (and soccer to Americans). The 20th edition of this grand event promises to be exciting, heart-breaking and jaw-dropping to say the least. To make this even better, the event will be hosted in Football’s favourite land: Brazil. 32 teams in 8 groups fight to enter the final and win the big one and bring pride and honour to their country, for all its worth a lot of endorsements and interest too.

Here’s a look at the 8 groups with the 4 teams and how they stack up in the tournament:

Group A (Group of Entertainment)

This group has the home team which expects to sail through easily, however, what would be interesting is the fight for the second spot with the likes of Croatia, which is a gritty team and Mexico (won the Olympics in 2012) and not to discount Cameroon; this group promises a nail-biting fight for the second place. Let us see each team’s chances to win the world cup or to reach a stage (according to me):

Brazil
USA+v+Brazil+FIFA+Confederations+Cup+Final+OXOOwsIYE0fl

The home team which has won the world cup for an astounding 5 times has an immense opportunity to revive the beautiful game (Joga bonito). Felipe Scolari has selected a team with style and flair and has a great chance of winning the grandest prize this time around and they are also my favourites to lift the cup.

Stars(s) to watch out for:

– Neymar: Compared to the likes of Pele and Ronaldinho. He has been Brazil’s poster boy for quite some time and now is the perfect opportunity to prove his worth.
– Thiago Silva: He is the defensive gladiator and is quite orthodox and a no-nonsense defender unlike the other Brazilian Defenders of the past who love to stretch forward.
– Oscar: He is the young star to watch out for. Oscar has been a sensation for Chelsea and provides a great link up play. He is living under the shadows of Neymar this world cup but I wouldn’t be surprised if he gives Brazil the break it needs.

Team Rating: 4 ½ stars (Experience of Kaka and Ronaldinho is missing and goalkeepers might be an issue though Caesar has been great in the past but now age may deter his abilities)

Expected Position: Finalist (eventual Winners)

Mexico
mexico

This team has won the summer Olympics and has an active youth side. The coach has banned sex and beef as one may tire the players while the other may have contamination. Mexico beat Brazil recently in the 2012 London Olympic Games and would love to upset the home fans by doing it again. Realistically, they would fancy their chances against Cameroon and Croatia.

Star(s) to watch out for:

– Javier Hernandez: A typical poacher, who has mostly been playing off the bench for Manchester United for the past two seasons but scores most of the time when given an opportunity. He would love to show his club why he ought to be a regular starter and also help his team win the Cup.

Team Rating: 3 stars (there are few names here and there but the team still lacks a player who would deliver the killer blow. If they play together they can upset the best)

Expected Position: 2nd in the group and Quarter finals at maximum.

Croatia
croatia-football-world-cup-team-2014

The team has reached the semi-final once in 1998 and since then, it failed to live up to expectations. One would say that their chances are slim as the team is badly stricken with injuries. They would love to go the distance this time around. They are up with Mexico and Cameroon for the 2nd spot in group A.

Star(s) to watch out for:

– Luka Modric: The Real Madrid star continues to be one of the best midfielders of this generation and will most likely be their main play maker. With an experienced front line of Jelavic, Olic and the speed and youth of Mandzukic, Modric may as well be the connecting link between them.
– Mandzukic: Plays for Bayern Munich and his upper body strength is his biggest advantage. He can provide the perfect screamer alongside Jelavic or Olic.

Team Ratings: 3 Stars (their attack is their strongest suit and I wouldn’t be surprised to see if attack turns out to be their only defence.)

Position: Contender for the 2nd spot but may finish 3rd in the group and they might not go beyond the stage of 16.

Cameroon
cameroon

Crashed out of the last world cup without scoring a point and with the likes of Mexico and Croatia. Coach Vilke wants his boys to fight hard and at least return to the continent with some pride.

Star(s) to watch out for:

Samuel Etoo: One of the few old players who can command such high respect and fan-following. He fought hard at Chelsea for his position and proved Jose Mourinho that he isn’t just an ‘old leg’. Watch out for him and his dead-eye finishing touches.

Team Rating: 2 ½ stars (Song, Mbia and Assou-Ekotto are good players. Otherwise, the team seems lacklustre.)

Position: 4th in the group (one can expect an upset).

Stay tuned for further analysis of rest of the groups.

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