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 Posted:   Apr 30, 2014 - 6:41 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I've gone ahead and nicked Kev McGann's classic template from his 2010 World Cup thread. Here are the groups that will compete for the 2014 World Cup:

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia

Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan

Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy

Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras

Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Iran, Nigeria

Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, United States

Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea
------------------

Your thoughts, predictions, opinions, and reactions are welcome. I'm sure that the Football thread regulars will be here in abundance and at their grouchy, tribal best as well as those casual fans who only watch the World Cup. Here's to a (hopefully) exciting tournament...


 
 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2014 - 7:42 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

The Cup is painfully devoid of any Scandinavian teams this year (Norway is just a ridiculous team at this point, but I had expected Denmark and Sweden to be there).

So I'm not sure who I'm going to root for. If Zidane and Henry had still been playing, I'd go for France. Now? I don't know.

 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2014 - 8:02 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

At the start of the qualifying competition a couple of years ago, I placed a bet on Belgium to win the tournament at 40-1. A long shot obviously, but I had an idea of the team they were assembling and thought I would stick it on them. They should definitely get out of the group so you never know...wink

 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2014 - 8:22 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I'm severely pessimistic about the US team's chances. If they snare a single point--or even goal--I will be surprised and I'm not downplaying their chances. I think Group G--the Group of Death--will finish in alphabetical order. After that I get to be neutral for the rest of the tournament.

England has a difficult group as well, with Uruguay, Italy, and even Costa Rica a tough nut to crack. I will be more entertained by the English press and supporter reaction to whatever the hell happens with that side. I'll be surprised if England plays past the group stage.

My "dark horse" to reach the knockout stage is Nigeria; I think they can be the surprise of this thing.

I need to ruminate some more to determine who the flop will be; I'd hate for Colombia to do that on the twentieth anniversary of their 1994 humiliation.

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2014 - 6:42 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

I'm getting so old and grumpy now I don't want anyone to win.
I'll see how things start out and progress before I decide who's flag I'll be waving.
With so many LFC players now in the England fold, I'll start out with them until they no doubt crash and burn, probably in the group stage!

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2014 - 6:59 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I hope England can avoid the 'I'm John Terry and the captain of this team, even though I'm not"-type stuff this year. England's squad was flat from beginning to end in 2010 though I'm probably the only one who *doesn't* blame Rob Green's gaffe for the side's lackluster play.

Oh, and speaking of the England captaincy I wonder how that Gerard-Terry dynamic is in terms of the locker room. The Chelsea guys alone have egos the size of Wembley; being the captain of that team must be the worst job a player can have.

Thor (If you're still reading): France can't do much worse than 2010 and they are an exciting team when they get their act together. They showed actual character when they thrashed Ukraine 3-0 in order to qualify. Maybe that team need their backs to the wall again in order to get through what looks to be a difficult group.

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2014 - 7:14 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Terry and Ferdinand have quit now (and I doubt Cashley Cole will make the squad) so England aren't as horrible as they used to be (for me anyway).
This World Cup will be Gerrard's swansong, but he does have some good young talent around him in this squad (the young Southampton and LFC boys mainly).

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2014 - 7:24 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Thor (If you're still reading): France can't do much worse than 2010 and they are an exciting team when they get their act together. They showed actual character when they thrashed Ukraine 3-0 in order to qualify. Maybe that team need their backs to the wall again in order to get through what looks to be a difficult group.

Maybe. If they can get back to that smart, technical football that they excelled at in the late 90s and first half of the 2000s, then I'm all game.

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2014 - 7:24 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

Gerrard will probably be knackered by the time the tournament comes round, like all the other Enger-Land players. Isn't that the excuse they usually come out with, when they've been outplayed by anyone they come up against? I can't stand the French either, not after the time Terry Henry decided to play basketball against Ireland! Remember that, Phelpsie?wink

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2014 - 8:18 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I can't stand the French either, not after the time Terry Henry decided to play basketball against Ireland! Remember that, Phelpsie?wink

Hand of God II: Electric Boogaloo, Thomasino. (Score by Tyler something, I'm sure).

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2014 - 10:21 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

At the start of the qualifying competition a couple of years ago, I placed a bet on Belgium to win the tournament at 40-1. A long shot obviously, but I had an idea of the team they were assembling and thought I would stick it on them. They should definitely get out of the group so you never know...wink

Belgium will win! With this team we are invincible.

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2014 - 5:05 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

I shall be posting when the prem lge is over.
Keep it warm for me.
I will be revealing the eventual winner and if engerland are likely to get out the group of slaughter!

 
 Posted:   May 3, 2014 - 10:56 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

England have a tough time ahead....the upcoming friendlies will show us a lot, but however you slice it - in current form, that's a tough group. I'm going to suggest - suggest, mind you - that England will just win the group, then get unceremoniously dumped out the next round. I wish them all the best and will be following every second of their matches, but I feel most of England are realistic now...

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 5:42 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

At least no one is expecting England to win this time, unlike the last World Cup (& when we got there we were just embarrassing). I'd just like a whole new squad, it seems the some players have been there forever, like they have a lifetime membership to the team. There was an item on the news about Brazil the other day, it looks like they'll be still building some of the stadiums while the games are playing!

I don't think Brazil can really afford it, & with the Olympic Games coming up in a couple of years, they're going to be in huge debt for years to come (or I suppose an even bigger debt than the one they have). I know there's been trouble there, where the government has been cutting back on spending, as usual it's the people that's suffering.

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2014 - 7:58 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

With the English PL season a (virtual done deal; Manchester City will win the title later today), let us now wonder aloud--in the tradition of "What will Intrada release this week?--Who will Roy Hodgson choose for his Three Lions roster?

World Cup 2014: Who is on the England plane to Brazil?

Do you pick Ashley Cole or Luke Shaw? Who partners Steven Gerrard in midfield? Is Adam Lallana the surprise package? Will Raheem Sterling continue to shine? Which back-up goalkeepers get the nod?

These are just some of the questions facing England boss Roy Hodgson as he prepares to select a provisional squad for the World Cup in Brazil.

He plans to announce 23 names and seven stand-bys on 13 May before confirming a 23-man touring party with Fifa by 2 June; 10 days prior to the tournament starting and 12 days before England face Italy in their Group D opener in Manaus.

Since Hodgson took over as manager two years ago, 57 different players have been involved on 25 match days. Their final international audition took place in March, England beating Denmark 1-0.

Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad included three goalkeepers, seven defenders, nine midfielders and four strikers. What will he do this time? And who will board the flight to South America?

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/26461761

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 2:13 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

Ashley Cole isn't going, he's already told us on Twitter. I assume the reason is simply because he hasn't played enough games this season. Looks like Celtic 'keeper Fraser Forster will go as 3rd, people says he only plays in Scotland but he's been decent for them in the Champs League and Ruddy has had an awful season for Norwich, so I can understand that one.

The rest more or less picks itself, they only real doubt being if Wilshere is fit enough and who the 4th striker will be. Barkley, Sterling, Lallana, Henderson are all certs. Especially with Lallana going to Liverpool nowwink

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27371960

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 7:08 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Here they are, your England national team for the 2014 WC...uh, World Cup!


Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Fraser Forster (Celtic).

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Attackers: Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).

Standby: John Ruddy (Norwich City), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Andy Carroll (West Ham United), Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC).

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27362447

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 8:32 AM   
 By:   groovemeister   (Member)

Germany or Spain will win !

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Ha, Ashley Cole must have thought he'd be in the squad into his 50's, he should have given Lampard the elbow as well, we need some new blood, but there are some interesting new faces.

And get rid of Rooney as well? He works very hard, but I think he's lost that cutting edge that made him world class.

...& the squad is twice as likeable without the lovely John Terry in it!

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 8:52 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Ha, Ashley Cole must have thought he'd be in the squad until his 50's, he should have given Lampard the elbow as well, we need some new blood, but there are some interesting new faces.


If Ashley Cole and John Terry had been named, it would be tempting to call this team the "Antiques Roadshow." Have they done that one already? I'll bet they have.

 
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