World Cup 2014 – Your Indispensable Guide To Group E & Group F
World Cup Group E Betting
Do France Possess The Requisite Je Nous Se Qua?
France’s World Cup pedigree is very respectable: they triumphed in the 1998 renewal, were runners-up eight years ago and have also reached the semi-finals on three occasions.
However, Les Bleus have imploded at the last two World Cups, blighted by player unrest off the pitch and woeful performances on it. And Didier Deschamps’ side were dealt a big blow when star man Franck Ribery was recently ruled out of the tournament due to a back problem.
Bayern Munich winger Ribery is undoubtedly France’s most influential player and, to add insult to injury, Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier has also had to pull out, too. But, on the upside, the French were rampant in their latest friendly, beating Jamaica 8-0, with main striker Karim Benzema netting twice.
Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud also got on the scoresheet against the Reggae Boys. Meanwhile, Paul Pogba and Yohan Cabaye provide real strength and quality in the middle of the park, and defensively Deschamps’ side look pretty solid, too. There are positives to glean.
Furthermore, France appear to have been dealt a good draw in Group E along with Ecuador, Honduras and Switzerland. Even without Ribery, Les Bleus should have enough about them to not just qualify but win the group. And they’re a top-priced 4/5 with Bet Victor to do just that.
Will The Swiss Roll Into The Last 16?
Switzerland are widely expected to offer the sternest resistance to France in Group E. Ottmar Hitzfield’s side are 4/6 with Sky Bet to qualify and can be backed at 11/4 to win the group with Stan James.
The Swiss play with more flair under the Stewardship of Hitzfield, but they remain solid defense-wise, as they illustrated in the qualifiers, keeping clean sheets in seven of their 10 matches, albeit in a weak group.
Honduras have failed to win a single game in two previous World Cup campaigns and, though they proved that they are no pushovers when drawing with England in a recent friendly, Ecuador look poised to pose the biggest threat to France and Switzerland in Group E.
Reinaldo Rueda’s charges will benefit from the fact that the tournament is in Brazil – the searing temperatures will not be an issue for Ecuador, whereas the climate and humidity will in pose a challenge to the French and Swiss players.
If wingers Antonio Valencia and Jefferson Montero are on-song La Tri’s prospects of progressing to the knockout phase will be greatly enhanced. And they managed to win two games in the group stage in the 2006 World Cup so this will not be alien territory for Ecuador. At even money, they’re a good bet to qualify.
World Cup Group F Betting
Argentina Home And Hosed
With all due respect to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria, Group F will be one-way traffic with Argentina streets ahead of that trio.
La Albiceleste have an Achillies Heel. Indeed, owing to their set-up, which is very much focused on offensive objectives, they are susceptible to counter-attacks, with Javier Mascherano the only natural holding midfielder in the 23-man squad.
However, while coach Alejandro Sabella may be mindful of this against tougher opposition further down the line, it’s unlike that this chink in the Argentinean armour will be exploited in the group phase.
In terms of sheer firepower, the South Americans are unrivalled. Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria form “Los Quatro Fantasticos” – which translates “The Fantastic Four” – and fantastic they are.
Twice winners of the World Cup, Argentina have failed to progress beyond the quarter-final stage since 1990, but they are arguably the side to beat in Brazil this summer.
The Race For Second Place…
Iran are one of the rank outsiders for the 2014 World Cup so second place is likely to be fought out by Bosnia and Nigeria.
The Super Eagles have reached the last 16 on two previous occasions, in 1994 and ’98, and they cruised through their qualifiers.
However, while this will be Bosnia’s World Cup debut, they are a best-priced 5/6 to qualify ahead of Nigeria who can be backed at 13/8 with Sky Bet. And with good reason.
Safet Susic’s men look good going forward, with Manchester City hitman Edin Dzeko spearheading the attack, while the likes of Miralem Pjanic and Zvjezdan Misimovic are strong creative influences.
Bosnia really ought to finish second in Group F so the Argentina/Bosnia straight forecast at 6/4 with BetVictor rates a solid bet.