World Cup 2014

Discussion in 'Sports' started by JohnnyQuickkick, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. JohnnyQuickkick

    JohnnyQuickkick Calcio correspondent

    JQK’s World Cup 2014 Preview!

    Group A
    Brazil
    Croatia
    Mexico
    Cameroon

    It shouldn’t be difficult for the hosts to win the group. IMO the battle for #2 will be interesting. Mexico has appeared to pull itself mostly out of the hell it was in during qualifying, but I hate them, so I’m going with Croatia, who has a talented midfield with Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, and youngster Mateo Kovacic behind strikier Mario Mandzukic.

    Players to watch:
    Brazil: Neymar. Thiago Silva. Oscar. Bernard.
    Croatia: Rakitic. Mandzukic. Modric.
    Mexico: Javier Hernandez. Rafa Marquez (he might stab somebody).
    Cameroon: Samuel Eto’o. Alex Song.

    Group B
    Spain
    Chile
    Netherlands
    Australia

    Spain is unquestionably favored in a group that could be considered a Vice Group of Death. Maybe slightly less the invincible machine they’ve been since 2010, but still arguably the most talented side in the world. Chile is that team nobody wants to play. They have a world class attacker in Alexis Sanchez. Arturo Vidal isn’t the best midfielder in the world at any one thing, but might be the best do-everything one in the world. The Netherlands have their usual bevy of attacking talent, but are very young/inexperienced in defense and are missing Kevin Strootman from the midfield, who could really protect that young/inexperienced defense. The Socceroos (Australia, for you illiterates) are on their knees beseeching the football gods for forgiveness of whatever sins they must have committed.

    Players to watch
    Spain: Xavi. Iniesta. Diego Costa. Sergio Ramos.
    Chile: Sanchez. Vidal.
    Netherlands: Arjen Robben. Robin van Persie. Wesley Schneijder
    Australia: Tim Cahill. Some other guy.

    Group C
    Ivory Coast
    Japan
    Columbia
    Greece
    If Group G is the Group of Death, then Group C is the Group of Who the Heck Knows. Ivory Coast is an athletic powerhouse led by Yaya Toure. Japan is a very technical side led by Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa, and they play above the sum of their parts. Columbia is unfortunately without superstar striker Radamel Falcao, but they’ve got some other good players. Greece is one of those teams that can be really difficult to play against, typically organized and defensive, but will struggle to find goals.

    Players to watch:
    Ivory Coast: Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony, Didier Drogba
    Japan: Honda, Kagawa
    Columbia: Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, Fredy Guarin, Victor Ibarbo
    Greece: Giorgos Samaras, Sokratis Papastathopoulous (Not really, I just wanted to type the name)

    Group D
    Italy
    England
    Uruguay
    Costa Rica

    Another group that could probably put in a claim towards Vice Group of Death. Italy is the subject of much ignorance. Frequently you will hear references to Italians and Defending, but that’s probably the weakest part of this version. They’re excellent in the midfield and up front (even if these dudes are a few feathers short of a load sometimes (looking at YOU, Mario. And YOU, Antonio)) this go-round. England is very talented but always seem to play below their ability. I think they’ll get out of the group this time. Uruguay has world class attackers in Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, but drop in quality as you move towards the back. Costa Rica might be good enough to steal a point and screw somebody else over, but that’s about it.
    Players to watch:
    Italy: Mario Balotelli. Antonio Cassano. Gigi Buffon. Andrea Pirlo.
    England: Wayne Rooney. Raheem Sterling. Danny Welbeck. And Rickie Lambert, just because.
    Uruguay: Edinson Cavani. Luis Suarez.
    Costa Rica: Joel Campbell

    Group E
    France
    Switzerland
    Ecuador
    Honduras

    France is undoubtedly one of the most talented teams in the field, and also one of the most schizophrenic. Could flame out in the group, or win the whole doggone thing. Hard to see them not advancing out of this bunch. How much do they miss Ribery? Bears watching. Switzerland probably does enough to finish second. Ecuador will be playing with some emotion and pride for their late striker, Christian Benitez, who passed away in July. Honduras is usually one of those sneaky CONCACAF sides that look like a pushover on paper, but can bite you if you let them. Still, they’re group E’s caboose.

    Players to watch
    France: Karim Benzema. Paul Pogba. Raphael Varane. Antoine Griezmann (could fill Ribery’s role)
    Switzerland: Xherdan Shaqiri. Granit Xhaka. Gorkhan Inler.
    Ecuador: Antonio Valencia
    Honduras: Andy Najar

    Group F
    Argentina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Nigeria
    Iran

    Argentina is the clear winner in this group, probably boasting the most dynamic attack in the tournament (and they left Carlos Tevez at home!). Beyond attack, though, they just seem awfully mediocre IMO. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a cool story considering how many different backgrounds their players come from and where their country has come from. Nigeria looked like skid marks against USA a few days ago but they’re athletic and talented enough to ruin somebody’s day, possibly enough to overcome B-H to go to the knockout round. Iran, thanks for playing, please enjoy our parting gift of Paul Mitchell hair products and local produce.

    Players to watch
    Argentina: Lionel Messi. Angel di Maria. Gonzalo Higuain. Sergio Aguero.
    Bosnia and Herzegovina: Edin Dzeko. Miralem Pjanic.
    Nigeria: John Obi Mikel. Victor Moses. Victor Enyeama.
    Iran: Bakhtiar Rahmani (confession: I stole this from Ives Galarcep, because I have no idea otherwise)


    Group G
    Germany
    Portugal
    Ghana
    USA

    Ah, the Group of Death. Any of these 4 sides could be knockout round sides if group arrangements had been different. Germany is the clear favorite. Portugal has CR7, and quite a few other good players too, though I don’t think they’re as good as the 2002 team on paper. Drubbing Ireland the other day makes them look better. Ghana is athletic and talented, highlighted by their “ball of knives” midfield. They’re just nasty. As for USA, it was huge for Jozy Altidore to find some goals in the final tuneup. (Actually, he and Asamoah Gyan of Ghana can both say they’re glad to get the Sunderland out of their system.) USA/Ghana right off the bat is a huge match for both sides if they want to advance.

    Players to watch:
    Germany: Bastian Schweinsteiger. Mesut Ozil. Thomas Muller. Philip Lahm.
    Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo. Joao Moutinho. Fabio Coentrao. Pepe.
    Ghana: Kwadwo Asamoah. Kevin-Prince Boateng. Andre and Jordan Ayew.
    USA: Jozy Altidore. Fabian Johnson. Michael Bradley. Tim Howard.

    Group H
    Belgium
    Russia
    South Korea
    Algeria
    Belgium has tons of talent, maybe as much as anybody in the field. It’s the first crack at a World Cup for a lot of them, so how will they handle it? Should be able to win this group in any case. Russia is probably 2nd on talent in this group, and will be looking to do better than they did in Euro 2012 when they were really unlucky. South Korea has certainly made it through group stages before, but probably not this time. Algeria is talented enough to screw somebody else over.

    Players to watch:
    Belgium: Eden Hazard. Thibault Courtois. Vincent Kompany. Romelu Lukaku.
    Russia: Alan Dzagoev. Yuri Zhirkov. Aleksandr Kerzhakov. Igor Akinfeev.
    South Korea: Park Chu-young. Son Heung-min.
    Algeria: Saphir Taider. Djamel Mesbah (not really, he’s just a comic hero to us Milanisti due to his time there)


    Knockout Rounds

    Round of 16
    Brazil over Chile
    Ivory Coast over England
    France over Bosnia-Herzegovina
    Germany over Russia
    Spain over Croatia
    Italy over Japan
    Argentina over Switzerland
    Belgium over Portugal

    Quarterfinal:
    Brazil over Ivory Coast
    Germany over France
    Spain over Italy
    Argentina over Belgium

    Semifinal
    Brazil over Germany
    Spain over Argentina

    Final
    Brazil over Spain

    3rd place
    Germany over Argentina
    Golden Ball: Thiago Silva
    Golden Boot: Diego Costa

    Do I really think it’s going to go this way? Not really. Belgium and France could wreck my bracket by overperforming (or underperforming). Italy and Brazil could wreck it by underperforming. And there’s sure to be a group that goes like nobody expected. So just watch the matches and don’t hold me to this.
     
  2. JayVols

    JayVols Walleye Catchin' Moderator

  3. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

  4. VB

    VB Member

    Good write up.

    I think Spain is going to disappoint in this tournament. I think they trend similarly to Barcelona since like half of their starting lineup plays their club football there.

    Where's Uruguay? I think they win their group and don't even have England getting to the knockout phases.
     
  5. utvol0427

    utvol0427 Chieftain

    Was going to make a sarcastic post, but this works.
     
  6. JohnnyQuickkick

    JohnnyQuickkick Calcio correspondent

    I could see that r/e Spain, still, so much talent.

    Uruguay to me is just too ordinary behind the attack
     
  7. tvolsfan

    tvolsfan Chieftain

    I'm just glad you didn't call group d the group of death, so I don't have to correct you.
     
  8. emainvol

    emainvol Administrator

    Put us in that group instead of Costa Rica, we win it. Definitely not Group of Death
     
  9. warhammer

    warhammer Chieftain

    Personally, I like Earnhardt for the Cup.
     
  10. JayVols

    JayVols Walleye Catchin' Moderator

    Good man.
     
  11. IP

    IP "You don't know what it is like in our universe."

    Good write-up, but you clearly have a European bias. No Colombia or Uruguay beyond group? I mean, sure you didn't NOT pick Colombia, but they're gonna advance off of that island of misfit toys. And for Christ's sake, at least spell the name of the nation right. You've been to Italy, you should know better than to anglicize the surname of Cristo Colombo.
     
  12. fl0at_

    fl0at_ Humorless, asinine, joyless pr*ck

    Usa usa usa
     
  13. Dick Huffman

    Dick Huffman Guest

    I got to see my classroom for 14-15 and the previous teacher left behind 2 Earnhardt prints. I was thrilled.
     
  14. JohnnyQuickkick

    JohnnyQuickkick Calcio correspondent

    I gave reasons for everything. I called it like I see it. No need to invoke Christ's sake for a spelling error is there? I know how to spell Colombia. I was just immersed in a lot of writing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  15. CardinalVol

    CardinalVol Uncultured, non-diverse mod

    Didn't pick 'Murica. Must be a commie.
     
  16. IP

    IP "You don't know what it is like in our universe."

    Was just teasing.
     
  17. Dick Huffman

    Dick Huffman Guest

    lay the **** off, ip!!!!!
     
  18. JohnnyQuickkick

    JohnnyQuickkick Calcio correspondent

    Jerk
     
  19. OrangeEmpire

    OrangeEmpire Take a chance, Custer did

    Quality
     
  20. Tar Volon

    Tar Volon Me Blog @RockyTopTalk.com

    Yeah, I don't love Colombia sans Falcao, but they have not been cursed with a particularly tough group. CIV is getting old, and Japan and Greece are quite mediocre. I'd still tab the South Americans as the favorites in that one.
     

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