2014 FIFA World Cup Preview
Eight groups, 32 teams, one trophy. This year's FIFA World Cup is being held in Brazil and features some of the most electrifying talents to ever take the pitch. The final match in 2010 between the Netherlands and Spain was the most-watched sporting event of all time, capturing the attention of 700 million viewers! Not a huge soccer fan? Don't know much about the teams? Don't worry! We've got you covered in a quick World Cup 2014 preview with predictions. The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil takes place June 12th - July 13th!
The tourney starts with a Group Stage where each team plays every team in their assigned group once. The top two teams from each group move forward to the Knockout Stage. Teams are re-seeded according to their performance in the Group Stage and play sudden death matches until a winner is crowned in the World Cup Final!
Group A features the host country Brazil, the squad many are picking to win the entire tournament. They should easily win the group but pressures of being at home might see them falter a bit early. A sturdy Croatian team should sneak through in second.
PREDICTION: 1) Brazil, 2) Croatia, 3) Mexico, 4) Cameroon
Every tournament has the so-called GROUP OF DEATH, which is a really scary way of saying there are a lot of good teams and only two can get through to the next stage of the tournament. Spain is riding an unprecedented streak of international success and should finish at the top of Group B, but it will be a dog fight for second between Chile and the Netherlands. I like Holland but Chile could just as easily get through on goals. Toss up for the two spot. Sorry, Australia, you'll always have Aussie rules rugby!
Prediction: 1) Spain, 2) Netherlands, 3) Chile , 4) Australia
- Ivory Coast
It's a contrast in style between the two teams most experts are picking to get through with the stylish Colombian scoring flair against the suffocating defence of the Greek team. But I like the Ivory Coast to get through on the back of Yaya Toure, one of the best in the world.
Prediction: 1) Colombia, 2) Ivory Coast, 3) Greece, 4) Japan
- Costa Rica
Italy will win the group, the only question is will England overcome decades of disappointment at the World Cup and advance to the Knockout Stage. It might be my heritage talking but I like the English to get through, leaving the high-flying Uruguayans on the outside looking in and the Costa Ricans out in the first round.
Prediction: 1) Italy, 2) England, 3) Uruguay, 4) Costa Rica
The French could either be out in the Group Stage or make the final, that's how unpredictable this team is, but I like them to finish somewhere in betwen those two outcomes. The Swiss are sneaky good and I think they will eke out the group while France falters but still takes second and advances. Ecuador will score a few but can't compete and Honduras is hopeless.
Prediction: 1) Switzerland, 2) France, 3) Ecuador, 4) Honduras
Argentina has Lionel Messi, who will feast in this weak group. Second is the real question mark here as it comes down to first-timers Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nigeria. The B-H squad is exciting but has no back end, I think the Nigerians take their match against them and as a result, second place in Group F
Prediction: 1) Argentina, 2) Nigeria, 3)Bosnia-Herzegovina , 4) Iran
- United States
Germany is stacked with talent and should be able to come out on top of this other so-called GROUP OF DEATH! Portugal is thought of as a one-trick pony, but they have plenty of talent behnd international superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. But, the boys in blue have a great coach in Klinsmann, and zero expectations to advance. I expect Portugal to be slowed by Ronaldo's knee injury and for USA to sneak through!
Prediction: 1) Germany, 2) Portugal, 3) United States, 4) Ghana
- South Korea
Belgium is the popular dark-horse pick to go deep in the tournament, and they've been blessed with a pretty easy group. Russia is the only real competition here, look for both to walk through Group Stage.
Prediction: 1) Russia, 2) Belgium, 3) South Korea, 4) Algeria
Finals Prediction: Brazil vs. Argentina
Have your say!
Are you going to watch the World Cup? Do you have a favourite team? Do you think the US can make any noise and perform on the world stage? Let us know your predictions and who you are cheering for in the comments section.