Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Global Scope: FIFA World Cup Prediction



The 2014 FIFA World Cup final draw, held in Costa do Sauipe last Friday December 6th, decided which teams are facing each other in the tournament's group stages. It also awarded fans with the possibility of simulating what the road could be like for each team in order to go all the way. As of right now we still have to wait 182 days until Brazil and Croatia take to the field in Sao Paulo for the inaugural match on June 12, 2014. It is obviously too early for a real prediction, but it is never too early to feed our curiosity and see which match-ups could arise through a simulation.

                                                  
2014 World Cup Early Simulation:

Group A:
1. Brazil
2. Cameroon
3. Croatia
4. Mexico

I think Brazil should definitely qualify in 1st place, winning all three matches. Even though in recent history Mexico has been a tough opponent for Brazil, and both Cameroon and Croatia have a few big names playing in Europe, the tournament's hosts are better equipped and should finish this stage with 9 points. When looking at the other three teams, I think a lot of people are undermining the difficulty of this group. All three opponents are somewhat even but I would like to think that Cameroon, lead by their German coach Volker Finke, will come out on top over Croatia and Mexico.

Group B:
1. Spain
2. Netherlands
3. Chile
4. Australia

Australia's campaign will basically be about trying to suffer the least amount of goals possible. Australia's games may well be the defining factor for the top spot though, given that if Spain and Netherlands beat both Chile and Australia and possibly tie their game, the team that scored the most goals against Australia will probably be 1st (and again, probably, avoid an early Round of 16 match-up against Brazil). I urge everyone not to sleep on Chile though, coming off a hard fought defeat against Brazil 2-1 and a 2-0 victory over the English team at Wembley Stadium. With the World Champs not playing up to their potential lately (2-1 victory over Equatorial Guinea and 1-0 defeat against South Africa) and having lost the Confederations Cup Final to Brazil 3-0, Chile could prove to be the perfect team to surprise the Spaniards in 2014.

Group C:
1. Colombia
2. Japan
3. Ivory Coast
4. Greece

This group could end up being quite the gift for Colombia, that is if they can keep up their fantastic form all the way through the World Cup. Colombia is one of those teams that could write an incredible or tragic story for themselves. Let's say they keep up their great play and come out at the top of their group, I think Japan should be a close second. The 'Samurai Blue' have also been in great form, and lead by their offensive stars Kagawa and Honda, they should take the 2nd spot. Both Ivory Coast and Greece also have a chance here (unlike Australia), but even with Kostas Mitroglou and Yaya Toure playing fantastic football at both the club and country level, three games will be all they get in Brazil.

Group D:
1. Italy
2. Uruguay
3. England
4. Costa Rica

This to me is the most interesting of all the groups. Putting Costa Rica aside even though they have been improving a lot and have a few promising players, having been placed against 3 of the 8 nations to ever win a world cup title doesn't help. That is the reason why this group is so interesting. Out of these three nations, any two could easily qualify to the Round of 16 without it being a surprise to anyone. I believe Italy and Uruguay will come out at the top though, because when it comes down to it I just think those two teams are superior on paper than England. Although Italy does have a flair for the dramatic, they should overcome that and qualify as the top team in this group. Then it will boil down to the match-up between Uruguay x England, and 'La Celeste' will take care of that one, with the Brazilian fans backing them up in the stands.

Group E:
1. France
2. Ecuador
3. Switzerland
4. Honduras

Ok, France struggled to qualify to the World Cup again, but now that they are in it probably won't be easy to get them out! Backed by Ballon D'or favorite Franck Ribery, France should win all three matches against Switzerland, Ecuador, and Honduras. The 2nd spot logically would be taken up by the Swiss, who qualified to the world cup after playing 10 matches and remaining undefeated (7 wins & 3 draws) in Europe. However, Switzerland played in the easiest group, facing off against Iceland, Slovenia, Norway, Albania, and Cyprus. The deciding match will be between Switzerland x Ecuador, and lead by Man United star Antonio Valencia the Ecuadorians should adapt to the heat a little quicker and have an edge against the Swiss.

Group F:
1. Argentina
2. Bosnia-Herzegovina
3. Nigeria
4. Iran

This is the easiest group to predict. Argentina, lead by Lionel Messi, should be in the first position with three wins, followed by Bosnia (who will probably only lose to Argentina), and then Nigeria and Iran. I don't think the Iranians have got what it takes to win a game in Brazil, and the same goes for Nigeria (unless they are playing Iran!). The current African Champions have had some impressive results lately (like a 2-2 draw against the Italians), but haven't fooled me!

Group G:
1. Germany
2. Portugal
3. Ghana
4. United States

Seen by many as the group of death, I think this is another relatively easy group to predict. Germany and Portugal should qualify with the 1st and 2nd spots respectively, and I do think that Ghana beats the United States yet again.

Group H:
1. Belgium
2. Russia
3. South Korea
4. Algeria

One of the most intriguing teams in this world cup, Belgium, should make it through with the first spot. Russia will probably be their toughest opponents, although the South Koreans have tasted what its like to be in the semifinals at home and might be looking to upset some people in the inaugural stages. The second spot will be decided between Russia x South Korea, while Algeria will go home after just three games.

Round of 16:
1. Brazil x Netherlands
2. Colombia x Uruguay
3. France x Bosnia-Herzegovina
4. Germany x Russia
5. Spain x Cameroon
6. Italy x Japan
7. Argentina x Ecuador
8. Belgium x Portugal

Quarterfinals:
1. Brazil x Colombia
2. France x Germany
3. Spain x Japan
4. Argentina x Belgium

Semifinals:
1. Brazil x Germany
2. Spain x Belgium
Play-Off for Third Place:
1. Germany x Spain

Final:
1. Brazil x Belgium

I won't even bother to sit here and explain why each team will win each game in the second stage because when it comes down to single elimination games in the World Cup, they really are just blind predictions. Playing at home, Brazil will prove to be extremely tough to beat, and will overcome the sensational Belgium squad in a sold-out Maracana Stadium on a warm Sunday afternoon.

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Kevis Georgakopoulos Pinto is a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and is working toward his undergraduate degree in Sport Management at Drexel University. In the past year and a half, since moving to the United States, Kevis has been very active in entering the sports business world. He has gained experience in doing research at the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament in Poland, and is now interning at Comcast SportsNet’s marketing department.  Follow Kevis on Twitter@kevisgp.

Connect with Kevis Pinto on LinkedIn. 

2 comments:

  1. And the score will be Brasil 2 x 0 Belgium!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the post about World Cup. Just a tip about those who don't live in countries that stream world cup online. You can use UnoTelly to remove the geoblock and stream World Cup 2014 in your country free worldcup.unotelly.com

    ReplyDelete