GROUP C Preview: FIFA World Cup 2014
Playing in their continental backyard, Argentina and Columbia will be odd favourites in this group.
With some of very talented players in the squad, Columbia can be a dark horse in this tournament. Some big names like Mario Yepes, Luis Perea, James Rodriguez and Teo Guitierrez they will have a strong squad. Though there will be a question over fitness of injured star Radamel Falcao.
The Argentineans have a great chance to top the group. With a star-studded line up having Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Angel Di Maria, the squad still will heavily rely on Lionel Messi. Lacking defence could be a weakness Argentina has to work on. They have been criticized many times for their defence, they have to fix it as soon as possible.
On the other hand, Asian champions Japan will also believe that they can make into the top two in the group. However emerging stars like Keisuke Honda, Hidetoshi Nakata and Shunsuke Nakamura will play a vital role in the team’s campaign in addition to experience and skills of Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki.
With some power stars like Yaya Toure, Gervino, Kolo Toure and Didier Drogba, you can’t jut simply ignore the power-packed Ivory Coast. They have never progressed beyond group stage in World Cup. They have to work hard as they have good reputations as a team.
Greece, has been outstanding throughout qualifiers. Their captain Giorgos Karagounis dominated the line up and with having Dimitrios Salpingidis and Konstantinos Mitroglou, they have one of the best defense in the tournament. But story may be different this time.
GROUP D Preview: FIFA World Cup 2014
This is the group of death! With having three former World Cup champions, this group is the most unpredictable.
Italy is the second most successful team in the history of World Cup after Brazil. Came as defending champions in 2010 World Cup, they were knocked out in the first round, causing biggest upset of the tournament. This time they are much better, ending up as runner-up in 2012 Euro Cup, they will have high confidence levels. Captain Buffon and Pirlo will look to end it up on a high note, playing their last World Cup. Mario Balotelli and Giuseppe Rossi will play key role too.
Having two of world’s best strikers, Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez, Copa America champions Uruguay could shiver down any defence in the world. In addition they have experienced Diego Forlan. But defence has been the main weakness for the team. They won the World Cup twice and finished fourth in previous edition of World Cup.
1966 winners, the three lions, England had to overcome the jinx of underperforming in FIFA events this time. The youthful English team looks pretty good under Coach Roy Hodgson. Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw will play a vital role in their World Cup campaign. All hopes will be on this team that underperformed in FIFA tournaments.
Costa Rica’s hopes will lie on midfielder Bryan Ruiz. But they received a huge blow after their main striker Alvario Soboro pulling out of their World Cup campaign. Now their hopes will rely on goalkeeper Keylor, who had played exceptionally in qualifiers.