World Cup Group A Predictions

 

Brazil:


As is always the case with the World Cup, Group A boasts the tournament hosts and with this year’s edition, the hosts enter as the favourites. Brazil welcomes the world, but with those lofty expectations, comes suffocating pressure. Despite their array of talent, Brazil will not be judged by their group-stage matches; it’s win it all or bust for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s squad, but a comfortable opening stage should propel them to success in the latter stages. This group is theirs to lose, and they should coast to three easy victories. This is a team loaded with stars, led by one of the sport’s best goalscorers in Neymar. All of their starting eleven enter in excellent form, and surely enter as the rightful pre-tournament favourites.

 

Croatia:


Croatia, along with the other two nations not named Brazil, know Group A will essentially be a battle for second place. The Brazilians won’t be conceding that coveted top spot, and while the Croatians have a solid team, the likes of Cameroon and Mexico are no pushovers. Croatia had an abysmal 2010 World Cup, being the first team of 32 eliminated, and are primed to reverse their fortunes this time around. They possess talent in attack and some big-game players. Luka Modric and Mario Madnzukic are two of the best at their position. Even though they’ve been dealt with a raw deal, opening the tournament against the host Brazilians, if Croatia can recover enough to defeat Cameroon and play the Mexicans tough, advancing is not out of the question.

 

Mexico:


The Mexicans boast a talented group, but they always seem to come up a tad short in these best-on-best competitions. They beat Brazil in the 2012 Olympics, but a rocky World Cup qualifying tournament has eradicated the good vibes from that. Mexico lost eight of their ten World Cup qualifying games and were a tad fortunate to end up in Brazil. The big test will be their fixture against Croatia, likely the most crucial game of this grouping. Mexico does have an advantage of being familiar with the heat and humidity Brazil’s climate will offer, but many questions still remain.

 

Cameroon:


Although Cameroon enters the 2014 World Cup as the likely last place finishers of Group A, they are not your typical basement dwellers. They are used to playing in the heat and the big-game ability of some of their squad can create headaches for the Mexican and Croatian aspirations of a second-place finish. Led by experienced striker Samuel Eto’o, they possess enough firepower to steal a match, although their depth will ultimately be their downfall. Perhaps the best thing going for Cameroon is they play Brazil last, and the hosts could have already wrapped up first place by that time.

 

Group A Predicted Order of Finish:
1) Brazil
2) Croatia
3) Mexico
4) Cameroon

 

Brazil will get off to a rocking start against inferior opposition in front of their home fans. The remaining three will fight it out for second, with the Croatian duo of Modric and Mandzukic overwhelming Mexico and Cameroon squads riddled with question marks.

 

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