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World Cup 2014 Group A Preview

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World Cup 2014

Group A

Brazil

As hosts and favourites by many to win the world cup, it is hard to look past Brazil. Anything other than a victory will be seen as failure for a team that has already had their name engraved on the trophy 5 times.

Main Player

Neymar

Although Question marks are hanging over the attackers form and focus following a high-profile tax-related investigation, Neymar is back on Brazilian soil and still seen as Brazil’s main go to man.

How to beat them?

Although Brazil is seen as a flair team they had problems defending set-pieces in recent matches.

Predicted group stage finish: 1st

Croatia

Although not much fuss has been made about Croatia, statistically they are the team with the best form leading up to Brazil 2014.

With players like Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic and Nikica Jelavic the Croatians should certainly not be over looked.

Main Player

Luka Modric:

In periods this season Modric has been outstanding and is very rarely seen losing the ball. If Croatia gets Modric playing in a more attacking role than in the qualifiers Croatia can do some real damage with Modric threading through his trade mark killer passes.

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How to beat them?

In previous matches the Croatian Centre back pairing of Darijo Srna and Verdan Corluka has been left exposed when teams use their pace to exploit Srna and Corluka’s slow turn of pace. If teams hit Croatia on the counter or make the Centre back’s race for the ball, teams can damage Croatia.

Predicted group stage finish: 2nd

Mexico

The Mexican’s no longer look to dominate possession in matches but now look to play the ball in the flanks and hope that wide men such as Giovanna Dos Santos can create opportunities for mercurial players like Javier Hernandez.

Influential player

Javier Hernandez:

Javier this season under David Moyes has mostly been used as a sub and has pretty good minutes to goals ratio. If Mexico’s players feed Hernandez he is most likely to finish the chances.

How to beat them?

For all of Mexico’s attacking talent’s their midfielders are not fond of supporting their defenders on the counter, so teams against Mexico are often found out numbering Mexican’s in the attacking half.

Predicted Group Stage finish:  3rd

Cameroon

This year’s Cameroon team like previous years are found with plenty of aggressive and workman like players in the midfield, pace out wide and clinical striker’s in the shape of Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o.

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Influential Player

Alex Song:

The Barcelona midfielder is a rock at protecting the Cameroon back four and has an impressive range of passing. If Song plays well Cameroon will dictate the midfield and give Samuel Eto’o chances to score.

How to beat them?

Cameroon’s defenders can often be found making attacking runs in the opposition half, therefore struggling to get back into their defensive positions, giving the opposition the chance to exploit gaps in defence.

Predicted group stage finish: 4th

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