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Friday, 6 June 2014

World Cup 2014: Group A preview

Group A is already being touted as a foregone conclusion in terms of first place and looking at the squads this seems like a fair prediction, the only real excitement will be looking at how well hosts Brazil start the tournament and the possibility of a fight for second place.

Here’s a look at each of the four teams and their chances of progressing from the group;

Brazil
Going by each squad Brazil are far superior than their opponents in group A and will be expecting to breeze through the group without trouble.

The young squad have a lot of pressure on their shoulders being hosts of the tournament and starting the tournament as favourites but the quality of Neymar and his fellow teammates should be enough for this feeble group.

Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari will be hoping for a repeat of last years confederations cup performance in which Brazil won every match destroying Spain in the final 3-0.

Mexico
A very strong team technically and tactically, questions remain however over their defence.

Well known European based players Chicarito of Manchester United, Andreas Guardado and Giovani Dos Santos will be expected to play a big part and relatively unknown striker Oribe Peralta, Club America star, is expected to impress.

Despite the abundance of exciting players, Mexico do not look strong enough to progress through the group with their main rivals for second spot Croatia looking stronger.

Croatia
Under an unexperienced coach, Niko Kovac, progressing past the group stages looks to be their only aim and it is certainly within reach with the quality individuals Croatia posses.

Despite a major unbalance in the squad with a lack of quality wide players and a weak defence, the midfield of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic both on the back of superb seasons with their clubs in Spain along with young Inter Milan man Mateo Kovacic looks to be enough to see them progress.

Mario Mandzukic up front is a proven world class striker and his performance could be the difference between a second or third place finish in the group for the Croats.

Cameroon
A relatively poor squad look set for a disappointing tournament in a group containing teams far superior to them.

With key player Samuel Eto’o past his peak Cameroon struggle to score goals and despite a relatively solid defence and in form keeper Charles Itandje, formally of Liverpool, they will struggle to pick up any points in the group.

Barcelona man Alex Song will be expecting a big tournament but competing in the group looks a step to far for the African side.

Group Prediction
1st: Brazil
2nd: Croatia
3rd: Mexico

4th: Cameroon