Analysis of the 2014 World Cup draw

The 2014 World Cup draw was today! I thought I would do a quick breakdown of what this means. I’m sure I will miss a bunch of stuff (I haven’t truly started the research), so let me know what I missed in the comments

Basically: If you root for an English speaking country this draw was not good for you.

Group A:
Brazil
Mexico
Croatia
Cameroon

The consensus: This is Brazil’s group to lose.
Well, is the consensus right? Pretty much, Brazil is the CLEAR favorite in Group A.
Potential story lines: Brazil hasn’t been tested by this awful group, the team isn’t playing up to their potential (if they lose or draw or have a close game). How much pressure is on Brazil to win at home? Is Neymar the star of the tournament?

Group B:
Spain
Chile
Netherlands
Australia

The favorite: It’s gotta be Spain, but I wouldn’t sleep on Chile.
A dark horse: I’m not sure you can really count Chile as a dark horse (if so, then add them)
Potential story lines: Can Spain repeat? Are they as good as last year? Is this the toughest group in the tournament (arguably three top 10 teams)? Can the Netherlands rebound from an awful showing in Euros?

Group C:
Columbia
Greece
Ivory Coast
Japan

The consensus: Not a strong group, Columbia is the favorite
Potential story lines: How good is Columbia? How physical should the refs let Columbia play? Will Columbia bother with defense, will they need to? Is this the time for Yaya Toure?

Group D:
Uruguay
Costa Rica
England
Italy

The consensus: Tough draw, a good group that has historically good teams
The favorite? Hard to say here. Based on social media I would say Italy but both England and Uruguay could make an argument that they should be the team to beat
Overrated? With three teams that could be considered favorites you are likely to see arguments that at least two of these clubs were over estimated
Star watch Keep an eye on Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez and Bryan Ruiz

Group E:
France
Switzerland
Ecuador
Honduras

The consensus: France should be the favorite, they seem to have much more depth than any other team in E.
Story lines? Is France mentally strong enough (I’m really hoping to avoid that one, but will be surprised if it doesn’t come up), can Equador challenge Les Bleus?

Group F:
Argentina
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Iran
Nigeria

The consensus: How did Argentina get such an easy group? This should be easy for them
Star watch Lionel Messi, Mr. Messi and Messi (really, he deserves to be mentioned three times)
Story lines? How does Argentina match up with Brazil? Is Messi the best player in the tournament? How many times will people misspell Herzegovina (or will auto-correct damn or save reporters)?

Group G:
Germany
Portugal
USA
Ghana

The consensus: This is the group of death, the sky is falling, the Americans couldn’t find the right FIFA people to bribe (I saw this a lot on twitter and Facebook)
How good is Germany? They should be favored to win this group, they have the experience and should have the discipline
Does Portugal have the depth to make a run? I won’t argue that they are a one-man team but most of their squad is a question mark on my end
Just a little bit of history repeating? Yes, I know all about the US-Ghana history, but I don’t think that has predictive powers. Also Ghana should be the weakest team in this group, if the Americans have trouble with them they wouldn’t have made a run anyway
Story lines? Is this when soccer takes off in America? Is Ronaldo still Ronaldo? Will Germany be exciting to watch?

Group H:
Belgium
Russia
South Korea
Algeria

The consensus: A Group H? What? I haven’t heard about anything after the “Group of Death” (G)
Will this be fun to watch? I think so, while these teams aren’t the strongest of the bunch they are pretty evenly matched
The favorite? I would say Belgium… Although if given Belgium against the field, I’m recommending the field (this group is very close)

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~ by realfactsandbeer on December 6, 2013.

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