World Cup Group E Predictions

 

France:


The often-criticized French were fortunate when the groupings were released to be placed in Group E. Being matched against the likes of Switzerland, Honduras, and Ecuador will allow coach Dider Deschamps to work out the issues in the group stage before entering the knockout phase. This is a talented country in terms of producing top-notch talent, but they have long struggled on the world stage. After a relatively dominant qualifying run, the French are expected to cause some damage in Brazil, but they’ll need to be a cohesive group. With Laurent Koscielny along the back line, and the youngster Paul Pogba firmly in the middle, France looks to be as strong as ever on paper. If they can remain united, and keep the in-squad fighting and bickering to a minimum, this is a group that can match any starting eleven in the world.

 

Switzerland:


The Swiss were surprisingly dominant throughout World Cup qualifying as they finished a full seven points above second-place Iceland. Now placed in a group devoid of much depth, those within Swiss football are expecting progression to the playoff round. Switzerland should not and will not be taken lightly as this is a squad with unique-level talents. Xherdan Shaqiri plays at Bayern Munich behind Arjen Robben and Frank RIbery and will surely be clamoring for the chance to show the world the talent he possesses. He’s the current star of Swiss football – the poster boy for the new era, and big things are expected from him. Overall, this is a team that should be able to comfortably get by Ecuador and Honduras, while giving their rivals France all they can handle.

 

Ecuador:


While many view Group E as simply a battle between Switzerland and France for first-place, Ecuador are likely the only group that will enter Brazil with complete familiarity of one another. The majority of this team plays in the Ecuadorian league, and they have been training alongside each other for months in the lead-up to Brazil. This is a squad with immense physical power, and Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia can be capable of turning into a prolific midfield general. That said, even their coach admits huge gaps with defensive quality. Injuries have ravaged the Ecuadorian back-line and young, untested players will be counted upon to stop the attacking talents of France and Switzerland. This is ultimately a decent squad that will surprise and score goals, but will concede them back just as quickly. Bank on a solid third-place finish.

 

Honduras:


While the Hondurans can be counted upon to give honest efforts and work their best against some of the best talent in the world, it’s not going to be anywhere near enough in Brazil. This group lacks attacking options and though they usually elect to play defensive-minded it won’t be good enough to keep France and Switzerland off of the scoresheet. They lack experience in playing against some of the best teams in the world and have struggled when encountering elite-level opposition. A recent five-nil thrashing against Brazil proved how far off they were, and when they are forced to chase the game, their team shape and tactics crumble. Reaching the second stage would be a monumental upset, and this group should just be focused on simply trying to steal points to upset the French or Swiss.

 

Group E Predicted Order of Finish:


1) France
2) Switzerland
3) Ecuador
4) Honduras

 

A rejuvenated French squad will be pushed by Switzerland, but will ultimately prevail as top in a relatively easy Group E. Ecuador will have one eye toward the future, while Honduras will be playing to avoid embarrassment.

 

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