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.
Columbia – Yet another team who’s best tournament run was in the 90’s, Columbia hopes to break it’s recent struggles and get out of the group stage. They have routinely been one of the better teams in the world, they are currently ranked eighth in FIFA’s poll. This team has a dynamic attacking player in Falcao, the 25 year old has enjoyed a string of success on the club levels, accumulating various titles along the way. Now, it’s time for him to deliver on the biggest stage in the sport. A veteran back-line, an attacking midfield, and two talented scorers up top should help Columbia get out of the Group Stage this year. The tournament draw didn’t hurt much either.
Greece – Known as an attacking team, it was their defense that solidified their qualifying bid for this tournament. That may prove to be the difference between this year’s team and the country’s two previous appearances. While scoring is great, getting stops and keeping possession is huge. This new found strength (defense), coupled with their ability to attack should help Greece get out of the group stage this year. With the type of scoring power by other teams in this group, defense will be needed to advance.
Cote D’Ivoire – The Ivorians have a wealth of talent, distributed evenly across their roster. It’s been that way in both of their previous tournament appearances, what hasn’t been in their favor was the draw. They have been in deadly groups in each tournament, this year’s draw may give them their best chance at advancing past the group stage. There is no Argentina, Netherlands, Brazil in this group as in past years. This isn’t an indictment on the other teams in this group, but when you can roll out Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou as your forwards, you’re in a very good place. That’s not even taking account for their talented midfield and veteran back-line. This should be the year that Cote D’Ivoire gets out of the group stage and makes some noise.
Japan – After qualifying for this year’s tournament, Japan will be making it’s fifth appearance. They have undergone a complete style makeover, largely due to their Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni. This team will be very different from past Japanese teams, the midfield duo of Keisuke Honda and Yasuhito Endo is what makes this team go. Their run will depend on the midfield in both attacking and defending, Endo is outstanding in set piece situations and they have two forwards up front capable of cashing in on scoring opportunities. This edition of Japanese soccer will be intriguing to say the least, this group should be up for grabs outside of Columbia.