Soccer

2014 World Cup Preview – Group F Preview

Group F in the 2014 FIFA World Cup has Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria. Argentina is expected to advance rather easily. However, Bosnia and Nigeria will fight for the second qualification spot with Iran finishing last. It isn’t the Group of Death but Group F looks to provide some excitement.

The only thing missing from Lionel Messi’s resume is the World Cup trophy. Argentina’s draw sets up favorably for him.

If they don’t lose the plot, Argentina will impress and advance rather easily. Argentina last won the World Cup in 1986, they’re 5th in the FIFA World Rankings and has the best player in the world (that’s debateable of course) in Lionel Messi. Ángel di María is one of the best wingers in the world, Sergio Agüero is a world-class goal scorer, Gonzalo Higuaín is a traditional number nine. Argentina will challenge for the trophy. Coach Alejandro Sabella will seek to launch these heat seeking, goal poaching missiles on unsuspecting defenses. If Kun Agüero and Higuaín can give Messi space to operate, look out! Also, Argentina doesn’t have to play matches in the oppressive heat and humidity in northern Brazil and their draw sets up favorably for them.

The World Cup has a way of uniting factions, cultures and traditions using sport as a backdrop. Bosnia has the ability to just that! Safet Sušić has infused this team with attacking prowess playing a 4-4-2 in a diamond with Manchester City’s goal poacher Edin Džeko as the number 9 and leading striker with Vedad Ibisevic sitting behind him. However their defending could be their downfall because when they are attacked, Bosnia has looked disheveled, lost and confused.

Iran is the newest kid on the block. It is their fourth World Cup finals appearance but outside of their infamous win against the United States, they haven’t done much. In fact Iran has exited the first round in their three previous appearances. They will play cautious soccer and employ Holland-raised Reza Ghoochannejhad as their main goal scoring threat.

Finally, we’ve got Nigeria who realistically can beat Iran and Bosnia and get out of the group rather easily. Up top for the Super Eagles is Emmanuel Emenike with John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses in midfield. But the key to Nigeria’s progress is their back four anchored by Efe Ambrose and goalkeeping w/Lille’s Vincent Enyeama. The Super Eagles look to have solved problems with their egos and seek to qualify from Group F.

I believe Argentina and Nigeria will advance from Group F. Bosnia will finish in third and Iran will finish fourth. The key match in this group isn’t any match Argentina is involved with; but, Nigeria vs Bosnia, taking place June 21.
DATE/TIME (EDT)                    MATCH
JUN. 15 6:00 PM                         ARGENTINA VS. BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
JUN. 16 3:00 PM                         IRAN VS. NIGERIA
JUN. 21 12:00 PM                      ARGENTINA VS. IRAN
JUN. 21 6:00 PM                        NIGERIA VS. BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
JUN. 25 12:00 PM                     NIGERIA VS. ARGENTINA
JUN. 25 12:00 PM                     BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA VS. IRAN

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