Group H Preview

Here is a brief Group H preview for the World Cup. I will give my full tournament predictions on Wednesday and give a more in-depth preview of every World Cup match throughout the tournament.

Teams: Algeria, Belgium, Russia, South Korea

Group Overview:  Belgium has a lot of great young players and is a dark horse to win the World Cup. They haven’t qualified for a World Cup since 2002 but have a lot of talent now. Russia has been a disappointment in soccer over the last decade and will rely on younger players this tournament. South Korea has become a World Cup regular and is one of the best teams in Asia. Algeria is a long shot to get out of this group but they were a tricky team to beat at the 2010 World Cup.

Players to watch: Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria), Vincent Kompany (Belgium), Alan Dragoev (Russia), Son Heung-min (South Korea)

Prediction (win-draw-loss): 

1. Belgium 2-1-0

2. Russia 2-1-0

3. Algeria 0-1-2

4. South Korea 0-1-2

 

Photo by Erik Drost

Group G Preview

Here is a brief Group G preview for the World Cup. I will give my full tournament predictions on Wednesday and give a more in-depth preview of every World Cup match throughout the tournament.

Teams: Germany, Ghana, Portugal, United States

Group Overview:  This group is loaded and none of the countries are happy about the draw they were given. Germany has great depth and could probably field two teams that would be competitive at a major tournament. An injury to midfield Marco Reus over the weekend will test Germany’s quality depth. Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo but he will need support for the Portuguese to do well. The USA were great in qualifying last summer and have an opportunity to gain confidence with a win against nemesis Ghana in their first match. Ghana is one of the best teams in Africa and reached the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup.

Players to watch: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Michael Bradley (United States)

Prediction (win-draw-loss): 

1. Germany 3-0-0

2. USA 1-1-1

3. Ghana 0-2-1

4. Portugal 0-1-2

 

Photo by Saadick Dhansay 

 

Group F Preview

Here is a brief Group F preview for the World Cup. I will give my full tournament predictions on Wednesday and give a more in-depth preview of every World Cup match throughout the tournament.

Teams: Argentina, Bosnia, Iran, Nigeria

Group Overview: The group revolves around Argentina and Lionel Messi. Many regard Messi as the best player in the world but he hasn’t seen much success playing for his country. Argentina is one of the favorites to win the tournament. Bosnia and Herzegovina is taking part in their first major tournament as an independent country. Nigeria only finished with a draw and two losses in the 2010 World Cup including one to Argentina. Iran is making its fourth World Cup appearance.

Players to watch: Lionel Messi (Argentina), Edin Dzeko (Bosnia), Javad Nekounam (Iran), John Obi Mikel (Nigeria)

Prediction (win-draw-loss): 

1. Argentina 3-0-0

2. Bosnia 2-0-1

3. Nigeria 0-1-2

4. Iran 0-1-2

 

Photo by LGEPR

Group E Preview

Here is a brief Group E preview for the World Cup. I will give my full tournament predictions on Wednesday and give a more in-depth preview of every World Cup match throughout the tournament.

Teams: Ecuador, France, Honduras, Switzerland

Group Overview:  France is the favorite in this group despite struggling through qualifying. They were embarrassed in 2010 in South Africa and will be without injured winger Franck Ribery. Switzerland played very well in European qualifying in a relatively easy group. Ecuador was absent from the 2010 World Cup and you can count on a lot of their fans traveling to Brazil for the games. Honduras has become a much improved team and is making its third World Cup appearance ever.

 Players to watch: Antonio Valencia (Ecuador), Karim Benzema (France), Jerry Bengtson (Honduras), Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland)

Prediction (win-draw-loss): 

1. France 1-2-0

2. Switzerland 1-2-0

3. Ecuador 0-3-0

4. Honduras 0-1-2

 

Photo by Ibliskov