The 2014 World Cup is just days away, that being the case it’s only right that we (MMOS) take a look at the impending action. We’re going to go through each group, providing some information on each and every team.
Uruguay – It’s been years since they last won this tournament(have won twice), 1950 to be exact. One of the most interesting parts of the 1950 title was where the tournament was held, Brazil. Does that mean we should expect an encore this go round? While it may not be expected, Uruguay is no slouch in this sport. While they haven’t had success in recent World Cups, they do have one of the most deadly pair of forwards in the tournament. Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani have been exceptional over the past few years, they are solid in the middle and have a good keeper in Fernando Muslera. All things considered, it will be tough to get out of this group alive.
Costa Rica – Bryan Ruiz has to be excited about his team’s play during the qualifying rounds, the dynamic playmaker had the luxury of a stout back-line during their qualifying run. Ruiz will be counted on to create scoring opportunities for his teammates, while it is a heavy load, he is certainly capable of handling it. He does have several veterans along side him, one of the biggest keys for this team in the tournament will be the play of one of their younger players. How will Joel Campbell handle himself on this stage? He’s been groomed for it by playing for both the U-17 & U-20 squads, Costa Rica needs this talented youngster to remain poised and contribute if they wish to advance to the elimination round.
England – The English roster has a wonderful mix of the old guard and new generation, what stands out is their plethora of attacking options. They still have one of the worlds greatest goal scorers in Wayne Rooney, he scored seven goals in six starts during the qualifying run. What is different than previous years, Rooney will not be the only attacking option. Opposing defenses will have to deal with Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Alex “Ox” Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andros Townsend. Those are all young legs, couple that with veterans like Gerrard and Lampard and England has enough experienced players to support the youngsters. They’ll need contributions from the young and the old to make a run in this tournament, let alone get out of the group stage.
Italy – Second to only Brazil when it comes to World Cup titles, the Italians are roaring and ready to go. They dominated their competition in the qualifying period, they last won this tournament in 2006. There is just one player on this roster that played on that title winning team in 2006, keeper Gianluigi Buffon. This is a totally different group of players, specifically young players that now surround Buffon and Andrea Pirlo. Italy is loaded up front, they have a bevy of talented attackers. Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy are both under 25 years old, they still have relatively young impact players in Pablo Osvaldo and Giuseppe Rossi. Opposing teams are going to have their hands full with this bunch, they should be one of the two teams to advance out of this tough group.