What you find below are my thoughts on every group, take this however seriously you want.
Group A – Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, CameroonGroup B – Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
Group C – Columbia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
Group D – Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy
Group E – Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
Group F – Argentina, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Iran, NigeriaGroup G – Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
Group H – Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea
GROUP B – BOOM!! That’s all. Spain against Netherlands will be huge, a rematch of the 2010 final and it’s the opening game of the group, you can’t get better than that. Chile are a very good team in their own right and could make things very interesting should they take points off one of the top 2. Australia simply put have had it.
GROUP C – Never mind the classic ‘group of death’ this is the hipster’s wet dream. Columbia, Ivory Coast and Japan, and to top it off on the radio I’ve just heard Greece described as ironic… Probably by a man wearing brogues. It might lack massive names but it’s going to be very close. Columbia and Ivory Coast to make it through for me. Japan to lose out on goals scored or something stupid.
GROUP D – And here we have England, this should be fun. On the face of it we are knackered, Italy to start in 99% humidity, then the small matter of Uruguay. But how about this for positive spin… Nick a win against Italy, draw against Uruguay (Their defensive record in qualifying was shocking) and beat Coast Rica. Job done. Easy right?
GROUP E – France have landed on their feet in spectacular fashion, partly down to the shuffling of the pots earlier on this week. I’m sure Mr Platini will be gutted. Switzerland will go through 2nd. Not a group to get the pulse racing.
GROUP F – Argentina win the group and will go far. They will be hell bent on stealing Brazil’s thunder on home soil if nothing else. Messi will also be out to prove a point. Nigeria have a young team and weren’t disgraced in the Confederations Cup and could grab 2nd ahead of Bosnia.
GROUP G – This is a group and a half. Germany against Portugal as an opening game says it all. Germany are quality and the world will be watching to see how far Ronaldo can drag Portugal. Ghana are a good team and the USA aren’t bad by any means. This could get very very interesting. Ghana may upset Portugal and go through in 2nd place, Ronaldo will star but it won’t be enough.
GROUP H – Here we find Belgium, the ‘dark horses.’ The dark horses who have been mentioned so many times and had so much of the limelight shone on them they are now the lightest dark horses in history. Anyway, they will go through, Algeria will do nothing. Korea will contribute slightly more than Algeria and Russia will finish 2nd behind Belgium.
There we go, that’s the group stage sorted. Now to watch all of these predictions come true… bring on 12th June.