Who is moving on in the World Cup at Brasil, Brazil, Bresil 2014 and who is going home soon???It's time to figure out where the World's best stand on the biggest stage and head to head. You may have your ideas of who is the best or how far a team will go, but it's based on your team strength, luck of the draw, health, unity, sports psychology, LOCATION lots of history...which I love! I predicted Spain would win 4 years ago and most all of the teams out of the group stage so let's see how I do this year...but it won't be easy with so many star players left off the 23 man squad (Donovan for USA, Rossi for Italy, Ronaldinho for Brasil) or injured (Falcao for Colombia, Montes for Mexico, Costa for Spain, Ribery for France). So what's left? That's what I'm trying to figure out after going through tons of reports, news, updates, historical data and just that GUT FEELING!
I only have so much time before Brasil v. Croatia takes place so let's get this rolling for you to read around halftime, just so you don't feel I'm cheating. I'll make it short and sweet and do a group by group breakdwon/update of matches played and going forward as things change, injuries happen and some countries just don't show up!
The home team always goes through (save South Africa 2010), but this is Brasil and I'll just say that they'll be fine and go one of two ways, win it all or lose in a quarter final upset. I say this as they can be overconfident. For now Group A is Brasil 1st and Cameroon 2nd, WHAT?! Normally Mexico always goes through but in South American World Cups, they don't play well, have made it through once in the old system of playoffs, but they lost a lot with Montes being injured. Croatia is strong, but not like France '98. Cameroon is itching with Samuel Eto'o in probably his last World Cup and strong and should be comfortable in this diverse land.
GROUP B: Spain is the champ and Netherlands was 2nd, but watch out for a South American team in South America, that being Chile. When Chile played in their homeland in '62 they finished 3rd! They are going through and may be 1st barring a slight injury to Vidal. Spain has haphazardly lost or tied openers (even in the last World Cup they lost the opening game), but this team is to tough and experienced and as former conquerors of South America (see how an old conqueror of Africa won in Africa) they will go first and Chile 2nd. Holland is experienced and have been runner's up here and last time in Africa, but without Rafael Van der Vaart in the midfield and Greogry van der Wiel in defense their gelling is thrown off.
Group C: Colombia! Colombia! Colombia! Front running enough for you haha, it's my parents homeland and we've all lived through enough crushing defeats and this year was supposed to be our best chance as a dark horse to win it all and steal it, but with Falcao injured, the best would be 4th place after a Quarter Final upset of Brasil (a Maracanazo) as we play them better than anyone. Let's just get that first nod out of the Group stage as Greece is not proven here. Japan gives me fits as they have more support in Brasil being that there are a lot of Japanese who grew up here and they are a fast team who play really good set pieces (free kicks, indirect kicks, corners). It's a bigger motivation for Drogba playing in his last World Cup for The Ivory Coast (Les Elephantes being their nickname). If they upset Colombia they'd go first, but not down here, so the 2nd place team to advance and done.
GROUP D: Is a Classic Group with 3 former Champions and Uruguay now is the healthiest and strongest who have kept their team together with the return of Luis Suarez. They still have Forlan who was the Golden Boot winner and best player & Cavani and weak in group play, but they got in so now it's on and they are strong. What does that mean? Try and stop them, they are now my new dark horse to take it all and/or cause another Maracanazo, so to begin play strong and win this group. Italy is strong and should go far, but without Rossi, not going to the semis, but if so they'd lose it...perhaps in penalties. These two champs face off again in a big match for the top spot. England is solid and has been perfect in group play, but that varies in Europe so it's a small sampling, still lacking and again in South America they pretty much go down in flames (1950, 1970, what were you there, exactly). Costa Rica can cause problems for the to be 2nd place entry, but at their strength on this stage, in this group of death, they'd be hard pressed though I think they'll make a valiant effort.
Tired from culinary school and commitments, I get this out just after the Mexico opener, but finished writing group A-C by half time of the Brasil 3-1 victory over Croatia. Though I won't bet all my marbles on it, Croatia looks to upset the 2nd place entry, but more so, Brasil looks vulnerable (no matter what the refs called or didn't) and I feel are being replaced by Uruguay or Argentina as the eventual champion. Remember it's gotta be a South American team as only we win here. A first, aaahhh, not feeling it just yet. I may be wrong, but that's hardly ever the case...because I know what I'm talking about HAHAHAHAHA!!
Okay Group E-H this weekend, enjoy the game and if you don't agree with me, tell me and I'll back it up even more with historical data...and we'll see right :) follow me on instagram: ColoAmericano