Welcome back to the Post Up! For those of you that are coming back or for those who have not seen, the past week we have been looking at each group in the World Cup and have been deciding who will win, win runner-up, and who could be a dark horse. We have already looked at Group’s A-D, so without anymore waiting, let’s look at Group’s E and F.
Group E Preview:
Alright ladies and gents, in this group we have the likes of Switzerland, Ecuador, France, and Honduras. Switzerland is the highest ranked team in this group at 8th in the world, according to FIFA. After Switzerland, the teams are ranked 28th, 16th, and 30th, respectively. There are two teams that should have relative ease coming through this group and into the knock-out stages, but which ones are they?
Group E Winner: France
Yes, France will be winning this group and here is why. Even though they are ranked below Switzerland by FIFA, they have a much stronger team. Over the last year or so, the French have only lost one game, and that was to Ukraine. The French also have a mixture of experienced players that have been to the World Cup before, such as LLoris, Evra, Ribery, Sagna, etc. on the team to guide the youth and inexperienced. What is important about the French and their experience is that most of it comes on defense. That will help greatly with most of the youth and inexperienced being in the offensive half. However, the newcomers to the French side are no slouches with the likes of Benzema, Cabaye, Cabella, Mangala, Pogba, Remy, etc. leading the newcomers. What is special about the newcomers on France is that they are already established players at the club level, and some of them are already class, or world-class. It is with all of this considered that France should have no trouble at all being able to win Group E.
Group E Runner-Up: Switzerland
The runner-up in Group E will indeed be Switzerland. They are a very new and upcoming team, however they are also a very good team. Over the past year, they have had a pretty good record with their only losses being to World Cup team’s, Brazil and South Korea. All of this and their qualifying to the World Cup has made FIFA give them 8th in the world. I think that is a little high for them right now, because they are too young, but they can get there. They really do not have any goal scorers on their team, which scares me. But then again, this group is lackluster in scoring, outside France. Switzerland has a very good midfield in Barnetta, Fernandes, Shaqiri, Inler, etc. and then combine them with a very good defense with Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Senderos, Klose, etc. makes for a tough team to score on. Again, they may have some trouble scoring, as their highest scorer right now is at 10 goals, but they should be able to find enough goals somewhere, which is why they will be the runner-up’s in Group E.
Group E Dark Horse: Ecuador
So deciding between Ecuador and Honduras was a little bit of a challenge, but in the end I decided on Ecuador because they are a slightly better team. Both teams are very similar in many aspects, but because Ecuador had a tougher road to get to the World Cup and they have slightly better players, I decided they would be my dark horse for Group E. Coming out ahead of either France or Switzerland will be extremely tough, but Ecuador is best equipped to do it. A team that is led by the likes of Ayovi, Guagua, Mendez, Caicedo, Antonio Valencia, etc. the Ecuador team is much more prepared with the likes of France and Switzerland, than Honduras. Along with the fact that over the past year Ecuador has a pretty good record, and has beaten or drawn some very good World Cup teams like Argentina and the Dutch, they have been chosen as my dark horse for Group E.
Group F Preview:
Okay, so for Group F, the teams that are in it are Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria. The highest ranked team in this group should come as a surprise to no one as Argentina at 7th in the world, according to FIFA. The remaining group is ranked as 25th, 37th, and 44th, respectively. The winner of this group should come as a surprise to no one either, but who will take the runner-up and dark horse spots?
Group F Winner: Argentina
Again, this should be a surprise to no one. Argentina are by far and away the best team in this group. They have only lost one game in the past year, and that was to World Cup team Uruguay. Argentina have also gotten much better over the last 4 years since we saw them. In 2010, they were Messi and that was it. The rest of the players around him were above-average at best, however things have changed in 4 years. Now, Messi is surrounded by much better and improved players like Kun Aguero, Di Maria, Garay, Higuain, Mascherano, Sosa, etc. This team is going to be able to work on their chemistry and tactics in the group stages, in order to be more prepared for the knock-out stages. It would be an utter shock to not see Argentina advance at all in this group, let alone in first, which is why they are the winners of Group F.
Group F Runner-Up: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Alright, now for the country that none of you have heard about. Even though B&H are a relatively unheard country, they are still a very big country, in terms of soccer. They are ranked 25th in the world, and that is no joke. They have also beaten some good teams in Greece and the Ivory Coast over the past year, and are also able to light up the scoreboard if they are given the chance. What really helps this team is that they have some darn good players. They have the likes of Begovic, Dzeko, Ibisevic, Misimovic, Spahic, etc. to lead their team. A lot of these players have come onto the scene, at the club level, over the past few years, which is why they are in their first World Cup this year. If they can keep producing players like they have recently, do not be surprised if they become a consistent soccer country over the next few decades. However, because of the talent they have now, they are the runner-up’s to Group F.
Group F Dark Horse: Iran
Much like Group E, Group F it was hard to choose who the dark horse of this group would be. Both Iran and Nigeria are very similar, but Nigeria has had a slightly tougher road to the World Cup than Iran has. However, Iran has better players and performances, which is why I ultimately went with Iran. Iran has not been terrible over the last year, they have only lost once over the past year, and have even beat a World Cup team in South Korea. They also have a good team, not great, but good. They are led by the likes of Ansari, Haji Safi, Hosseini, Nekonam, etc. They have players that can score, pass the ball well, be creative, and play defense. Many of their players play in Iran, and the ones that do not don’t really have any experience in their other leagues. However, they still have more experience than Nigeria, which is why they have been chosen as my dark horse for Group F.
So there you have it, the predictions for Group’s E and F in this years World Cup. Do you agree with them? Do you not? What do you think will happen with these groups, or what is your opinion on what we are doing? We want to know so we ask that you leave feedback and comments on everything, we also ask that you Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and Subscribe on Reddit.
All stats and information courtesy of fifa.com