So here we are ladies and gents, the Post Up‘s final preview of the World Cup. The World Cup starts a week from today, and like I have said in the past, I am very excited. So far we have looked at Group’s A-F and have decided who will win, win runner-up and be a dark horse in each group. Today we will finish up by looking at Group’s G and H.
Group G Preview:
Alright so as many of you can guess, this group is made up of Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the United States. The highest ranked team in the group is Germany at 2nd in the world, according to FIFA. After Germany you have the rankings of the teams at 3rd, 38th, and 14th, respectively. The two teams that will move through this group stage and on into the knock-out stages should come as no surprise, however, who will be the dark horse?
Group G Winner: Portugal
Yeah so believe it or not, Portugal is currently set up to win Group G, and I will touch on the reasons why in this part of the article, and the next. But, for now, yes Portugal is the team to beat, and here’s why. Portugal right now are sitting pretty because Germany is injured and injured bad, while Portugal is healthy. Portugal is a team that has only lost to Brazil over the last year, and has had a tough group to get through to qualify for the World Cup, which help their cause. Not only that but this team is currently led by the best player in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo, and by his side he has players like Eduardo, Alves, Coentrao, Joao Moutinho, Nani, Pepe etc. While all those players are great, what is important with this team winning the group is that they are healthy. If they were not, or Germany was healthier, than they would win, but because of that, Portugal will be winning Group G.
Group G Runner-Up: Germany
So therefore, because Portugal will be taking Group G, the runner-up will obviously be Germany. So like I touched on in the Portugal part, Germany is injured right now, which is why they are only in the runner-up spot. They have injuries to Schweinsteiger, Manuel Neuer and Philipp Lahm, oh and by the way, these guys are not just nobodies that you can replace. Schweinsteiger is the anchor to the midfield for Germany, Neuer is their top and first choice goalkeeper, by a long shot, and Lahm is their leader and captain who can play just about anywhere. Those injuries are massive, which is why they are in the runner-up’s up spot. Now, they are not so massive that we should not expect to see Germany in the knock-out stages. More than likely, at least two of these injured players will play, not at 100%, but will play. They also have a cast of players in Boateng, Draxler, Ginter, Götze, Hummels, Kroos, Özil, Reus, etc. etc. There is a reason why the German team is the 2nd ranked team in the world. They are so deep and have so many world-class players that you can never count them out. That is why they will easily win the runner-up spot in Group G.
Group G Dark Horse: Ghana
So I may catch a lot of flack from people because of this, but with my dark horse I decided to go with Ghana over the USA because of a very simple reason. Ghana shows up in big tournaments. The USA may have better players than Ghana, but Ghana know’s how to win and in the most recent history, has made the USA their whipping boy. The USA, like I said, has better players, but right now with the whole Donovan thing, I feel like not every player on that team will have their head in the right place. Not only that but, the USA seems to have issues when playing Ghana, and in fact have been knocked out by Ghana the past two World Cups. Ghana also has some pretty good players in Afful, Asamoah, Ayew, Boateng, Essien, Gyan, Muntari etc. It would take a miracle for Ghana or the USA to advance out of this group, but the fact of the matter is, Ghana is much more equipped to be the dark horse of Group G.
Group H Preview:
Alright, now for the final group. Group H is composed of the likes of Belgium, Algeria, Russia and South Korea. The highest ranked team in this group is Belgium at 12th, then following them the rankings are 25th, 18th, and 55th, respectively. For those of you that do not watch soccer, you may be surprised at who should easily win this group. It is the runner-up and dark horse spots that are really up for grabs.
Group H Winner: Belgium
So let me start off by saying that I, like the rest of the world, am really high on Belgium. They are going to be one of the best teams in the world in the next World Cup, but this year, they will be looking to make a big splash. Belgium is a very young, but very good team that will be big time in the next few years. The last year or so, they have not had the best record against other national teams, but they are starting to put it all together. With players like Courtois, Alderweireld, De Bruyne, the Hazard’s, Januzaj, Kompany, Lukaku, etc. this team is very, very good. If they can all figure out how to play together, do not be surprised if this team handles this group and makes a dark horse run at the World Cup, calling it now. But, for now, they are the winners of Group H.
Group H Runner-Up: Russia
Picking the runner-up and the dark horse for this group was a challenge. However, I decided to go with Russia as the runner-up for a few reasons. The first is that they seem to be figuring it out. Russia has a record over the past year in which they have only lost twice, and one of those losses was in a close game against Portugal. They did not have as difficult a time to qualify for the World Cup, as other teams did, but they did it well enough. They also have some very good players on their team in Akinfeev, Anyukov, Ignashevich, Kerzhakov, etc. Compared to the other two teams in this group, they just seem to have a little more than the rest and that is why I have chosen Russia to move out of the group stages as a runner-up.
Group H Dark Horse: South Korea
So Algeria may be better ranked than South Korea, but for some reason I feel that when FIFA is ranking teams, they tend to sleep on the Asian teams. They did it with Japan, and now I think they are doing it with South Korea. South Korea is a good team, heck over the past year they have very good wins over the USA, Mexico, Switzerland, and Croatia. Not only that but they also have a young, but very good team. This team also has its leaders, but add a mixture of up-and-coming players and this makes for an interesting team to watch. With the likes of Jung, Ki, Bokyung Kim, Chung Yong Lee, Keunho Lee, Son, etc. this is a team, like I stated already, that is mixed with experience and youth and is being underrated by the world. I truly believe that they have more than Algeria and enough to shock this group by possibly beating out Russia for the runner-up spot. It is because of all of this that I have chosen them for the dark horse of Group H.
So there you have it, the complete predictions for the 2014 World Cup. Did you agree with them? Did you not? What do you think will happen this year? Let us know by commenting and leaving feedback on everything and anything. 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