The world is getting prepared to witness a world cup which promises to excite in the summer of 2014. Brazil, the hosts and five time champions, are the favourites to land an unprecedented sixth trophy. With such European stars as Neymar, Oscar and Thiago Silva they certainly have the talent necessary to land this famous trophy, but do they have the nerve as their whole country will eagerly anticipate this June? Michael McKenna brings you his assessment.
Aside from the fact that it is on their native ground, Brazil are also favourites due to some rather easy fixtures in the lucrative tournament. They are poised to top the relatively easy Group A. They will face tough competition in Croatia who are seeded second in this group and have some tournament experience having recently played in Euro 2012. Brazil should still overcome them though, in what will be their sternest group game. Mexico are no stranger to the World Cup having hosted it twice and would be suited to the climate somewhat. They do however lack big name stars and should be torn apart by the skilful samba side. Finally, Cameroon. I can only see this game going one way, with a dominant Brazil out playing the ageing African stars. Overall, Brazil should sail through there group, with the only possible exception being if the Croats manage to scrape a point.
The second round will be a considerably more daunting task. I predict Chile to finish second in Group B behind The Netherlands, resulting in an all South American clash. The Chileans are taking the international stage by storm after navigating their way through qualification. They will also be suited to a climate which is similar to their own. I still, however, see Scolari and his men get past a fast, fluid counter attacking side. There are some big names for Chile though, like Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, but I believe that the Brazilians will just have too much class.
I anticipate Uruguay to face the hosts in the quarter finals. The Uruguayans would be highly motivated for this clash as they would have to overcome a number of big name sides to reach this stage. This second South American clash for the Brazilians will be very difficult as they face off against the nation that finished fourth in the previous World Cup. Brazil have the slicker and more creative side, but it is essential that the keep the oppositions strike duo out of the game. Edinson Cavani of PSG is a strong battler who will do a lot of work for his side with his immense stamina levels. That work rate alongside the guile and trickery of one of the world’s best, in Luis Suarez, will be sure to test the centre back duo of Thiago Silva and the oftentimes reckless David Luiz. They will need to be at their best to prevent conceding too many goals. If they can do that, I predict Brazil to once again advance.
The Germans will await in the semi-finals. This will obviously be a tough game. Brazil will have to face one of the most successful teams in world football. The Germans will be readily prepared for this one. Their mixture of youth and experience will prove key in this clash of the titans. It was two German teams who reached the 2013 Champions League final which shows the class of German football. I predict this game to be a nail biter as brazil will try and attack with pace while the Germans will try to break down Brazil’s attack minded back four. I can see this game being a classic, but I think that the Germans will prevail with captain, Philip Lahm, going on to lift the trophy after defeating Spain in a repeat of the Euro 2008 final.
I predict the Brazilians to do well, and if their star performers do well they should, undoubtedly, do very well and with the luck of the green there’s no reason why they can’t go on to win it in the Maracana. But I just believe that the Germans will be more organised and clinical and hence, will win the trophy.
Pundit Arena, Michael McKenna.
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