Wild American Gooner

When Sports Are More Than Just Sports

World Cup Group Stage Predictions

14 Comments

The day is almost here. In roughly 72 hours, the 2014 World Cup will finally begin. It feels like only yesterday Andres Iniesta’s late winner saw Iker Casillas lift the cup for Spain. But here we are, four years later, ready for another 31 days of magic. I will be making match predictions the night before each game, but here are my predictions going in for how the group stage will finish.

(In order of finish)

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Cameroon, Mexico – Brazil’s quality will shine through in this group. A Mario Mandzukic-less Croatia will struggle against the hosts, but once the Bayern Munich frontman is back, they will have little trouble seeing off the group’s two lesser teams. Mexico will disappoint, while Cameroon might have enough to nick a point off Brazil or Croatia.

Group B: Spain, Chile, Netherlands, Australia – A draw with the Dutch will have the Spanish looking at the prospect of facing Brazil in the round of 16, but they will hit their stride in the last two matches to top the group. Chile will also advance, knocking a young Netherlands side out of the tournament. Australia will be lucky to earn a single point.

Group C: Japan, Greece, Ivory Coast, Colombia – The most wide open group of them all will come down to the last day. Japan’s attacking talent will see them top the group, and Greece will frustrate their opponents with stingy defense, stealing a win or two with a late set piece. Ivory Coast will impress at times, but ultimately will stumble in the crucial moments. And the Colombians will fail to live up to expectations, with a giant Falcao-sized hole up front.

Group D: Uruguay, Italy, England, Costa Rica – A draw between Italy and England will see Uruguay top the group from the start. Luis Suarez will score multiple goals against the English much to the delight of the media, and the English will crash out with a maximum of four points. Italy will dazzle going forward, but Riccardo Montolivo will be missed. Costa Rica might end up deciding this group, as they have the potential to steal points from anyone.

Group E: Switzerland, France, Honduras, Ecuador – France will miss Franck Ribery more than they know, and will fail to take hold of this seemingly easy group. While it is a bit of a joke that they were seeded, Switzerland will impress, and Xherdan Shaqiri will score a sparkler against the French to put them atop the group. Honduras and Ecuador don’t have much quality, and won’t trouble either Switzerland or France.

Group F: Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Nigeria, Iran – Argentina will score a lot of goals in this group and Lionel Messi will be in a rich vein of form by the time the knockout stages start. Argentina will coast. Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic will lead the Bosnians out of the group in their first ever World Cup. Nigeria might cause Bosnia some problems, but a draw with lowly Iran will prove fatal to their hopes of advancing.

Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA – As much as it pains me to write, I don’t see the USA beating Ghana in the opener. And nor do I see them beating Portugal if Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t had his legs cursed by the witch doctor. They will crash out early, and Americans will be forced to decide if they want to continue watching the World Cup. Despite injury concerns, Germany has too much talent to be troubled in this group. Portugal too will progress with relative ease, provided a fit Cristiano Ronaldo is on the field.

Group H: Belgium, South Korea, Russia, Algeria – Belgium will ease through this group, finishing with all 9 points, with this talented group of players becoming more and more comfortable playing together. South Korea will take second with only 4 points, as the Russians will drop points against Algeria. This group will be the least exciting to watch, with the fewest goals scored. Maybe a red card or two will liven it up.

 

It’s almost here. I can feel it.

 

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14 thoughts on “World Cup Group Stage Predictions

  1. I really hope Messi rediscovers the goal at the World Cup, he failed to score in South Africa, that could really play on his confidence. The quality of the World Cup can greatly benefit from his performance

  2. Agree pretty much everywhere especially the excitement part. I’m tempted to call in sick to work everyday. My disagreements are that you have Group C all messed up Ivory Coast is too talented and Colombia has plenty of attacking talent (and South American home turf) without Falcao. Secondly, I think England is gonna surprise some people. They have no pressure and Ross Barkley. Finally, you should be tried for treason. USA to the semis. I don’t care if it makes sense, I love my country.

    Cool idea to start the blog. Keep up the good work.

  3. Agree with most of the groups, but have to disagree with the middle groups – C, D, and E. Ivory Coast simply has way too much quality, especially down the spine of the team, not to win the group; none of the other teams in that group can really handle their strength. In Group D, I might be just a little biased, but I think England will make it out of the group, and to the quarterfinals at least – there’s something about the freedom with which the newer call-ups, particularly Lallana, Barkley, Sterling, and even to a certain extent Henderson, that I think will push them past a somewhat creaky Italian team. Finally, I think France wins Group E with ease; the class of Valbuena and the recent form of Griezmann will negate the absence of Ribery. Also, that midfield is way too good for the rest of the group. And as good as Shaqiri is, I don’t think Stocker or Behrami will perform well enough to ease the attacking burden.

  4. I agree with you about Germany. In fact they are my pick to win it all. That’s hard to say as a gooner fan and the thought of Podolski putting a dagger in our heart hurts. If the back line can shore up (a big if I admit) I think the USA can get out of group stage. I don’t care what anyone says. It’s Bradley’s
    team now.

    • The backline scares me too much. There is talent, but the lack of experience playing together could cause major problems. It doesn’t help that the Belgium closed-door friendly was cancelled. That could have been one more needed opportunity to gel. I disagree about the dagger part though. If the USA must lose, I’d rather have it done at the hands of a Gunner. Because if we lose on account of Podolski and Özil, we know that we will have lost to the very best.

  5. Just reading through your predictions I am getting even more excited – so much has happened since, and so many surprises! Brazil – a disappointment. Holland, on the other side – I didn’t see that coming. As a German, I am pretty pleased about the 4:0 against Ronaldo, and I am hoping for the USA to get to the next stage (Klinsi all the way!).
    Can’t wait for tomorrow!

  6. Pingback: How I Like to Watch Games and Today’s Predictions | Wild American Gooner

  7. Reblogged this on GongaNdipo and commented:
    Great read

  8. It’s been a tough tournament to predict with so many surprises. Overall its been a magnificent World cup thus far only blighted by some poor refereeing decisions in the early days. Thanks for liking my post about Suarez.

  9. Pingback: World Cup Knockout Stage Predictions | Wild American Gooner

  10. I am doing a predictor on facebook via plytgames page which is trying to find whether men or women make better predictors. At the end of the group stages average pts for women was 0.75 per game compared to men at 0.63. If that’s not bad enough the leading predictor is a woman who has gone for 2-1 in every single game – & my wife and 10yr old daughter are even beating me All those years of watching matches and studying the form – wasted !

  11. Today 4th of july with the weather kinda ulgy no jersey shore for me but happy because we gonna have some great matches can’t wait to see brazil vs colombia is gonna be a good one but overall I’m putting my money in argentina gooollll de messiiii !!!!

  12. Now, looking back, did you predict either Germany or Argentina making the Finals? I did! I have Germany winning it!

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