Posts Tagged ‘honduras’

Much like group C, I see this as one of the weaker groups in this year’s tournament. This is not to say that any of these teams can’t pull off a surprise on their day, but I think the scope for progressĀ is probably quite limited. Second place in this group will almost certainly take on Argentina in the round of 16, a fate which most will be desperate to avoid.

Here’s the breakdown:


France, other than their 1998 win, have often struggled. While the team is blessed with a wealth of very talented individuals, it often seems that they fail to find any semblance of team unity. This year’s team may do reasonably well, though – with a relatively easy group and the prospect of (probably) either Bosnia or Nigeria as the Round of 16 opponents for the group winners, France may fancy their chances at making the quarter finals. Look for Karim Benzema to provide the main attacking threat for Les Bleus – the Real Madrid man has been on a good run of form lately. Midfielder Paul Pogba is also an exciting prospect, with several teams reportedly having offered nine-figure sums for his services.


Despite France’s qualities, though, it was Switzerland who were seeded in this group, their tight passing game and strong pressing having propelled them up the ranks. Bayern Munich’s inverted winger Xherdan Shaqiri is a shining light in this team and widely considered to be one of Europe’s best young players. I don’t expect this team to go beyond the round of 16, but they have a strong chance at making it out of the group, and might yet surprise me further.


Ecuador struggled in the latter half of qualifying, taking an especially hard and bitter blow from forward Christian Benitez’ sudden death from heart failure last July. El Tricolor will be very much relying on their midfield this summer, with powerful captain Antonio Valencia out on the right and the brilliant but erratic Jefferson Montero out on the left. Cristhian Noboa will be a big part of the supply line to these two wingers as they build from defence.


Completing the lineup are Honduras, a physical side which puts more stock in power and pace than flair and finesse. While these qualities may help them prevail over some opponents, they often seem as though they could be easily unlocked by a creative midfielder or forward. A key player for Honduras may be Anderlecht winger Andy Najar, who was smuggled into the United States by his parents at the age of 13 and is representing his country at a World Cup just eight years later.

Predicted group standings:


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