A Guide to the 2014 FIFA World Cup - Part 2

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GROUP E

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France

Champions: 1998

Last Time: Group Stage

Coach: Didier Deschamps (France)          

Players to Watch Out For: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Paul Pogba (Juventus).

Expectations: They needed a playoff just to qualify, but the pressure will still be on the French. They have the talent to make the quarters, and winning this group will be a priority.

Switzerland

Last Time: Group Stage

Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld (Germany)

Players to Watch Out For: Tranquillo Barnetta (Eintracht Frankfurt), Johan Djourou (Hamburger SV), Philippe Senderos (Valencia).

Expectations: The Swiss will be built on defence, but have some strong attacking threats there too. They were the only team to beat eventual winners Spain at the last tournament (1-0) and will be planning on extending their stay past the group stage.

Ecuador

Last Time: Did Not Qualify

Coach: Reinaldo Rueda (Colombia)

Players to Watch Out For: Antonio Valencia (Man Utd), Cristian Noboa (FC Dynamo Moscow), Jefferson Montero (CA Monarcas Morelia).

Expectations: A crop of good, young players highlight an Ecuador side that has a shot at making the knockouts here.

Honduras

Last Time: Group Stage

Coach: Luis Suarez (Honduras)  

Players to Watch Out For: Wilson Palacios (Stoke City), Maynor Figueroa (Hull City), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic).

Expectations: This will be only the third ever appearance at a World Cup for the small Central American nation of Honduras, and they have never won a game. Getting a victory over the Swiss or the Ecuadorians would be incredible for them. 

GROUP F

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Argentina

Champions: 1978, 1986

Last Time: Quarter Finals

Coach: Alejandro Sabella (Argentina)

Players to Watch Out For: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Man City), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid).

Expectations: Come on, Messi, Aguero and Di Maria! This team is planning on going all the way. Every tournament held in North or South America has been won by a South American team. The conditions are in their favour.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Last Time: Did Not Qualify

Coach: Safet Susic (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Players to Watch Out For: Eden Dzeko (Man City), Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen).

Expectations: This is a relatively new Eastern European country, playing at their first ever tournament. Just being there is enough, though they will be targeting a win over Iran.

Iran

Last Time: Did Not Qualify

Coach: Carlos Quieroz (Portugal)              

Players to Watch Out For: Javad Nekonam (Kuwait SC), Jalal Hosseini (Perspolis FC), Ashkan Dejagar (Fulham).

Expectations: They have already exceeded them by qualifying. They will be hoping to enjoy themselves and do each other proud by not getting beaten by too much against Argentina.

Nigeria

Last Time: Group Stage

Coach: Stephen Keshi (Nigeria)

Players to Watch Out For: Peter Odemwingie (Stoke City), Victor Moses (Liverpool), John Obi Mikel (Chelsea).

Expectations: Nigeria have only missed one tournament since 1994, but haven’t won a game since 1998. They have a wonderful chance to change that with the draw they have been given, and on paper they should even be able to sneak out of this group.

GROUP G

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Germany

Champions: 1954, 1974, 1990

Last Time: Third Place

Coach: Joachim Loew (German)

Players to Watch Out For: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal).

Expectations: Germany has impressed the last couple of tournaments with a young, exciting squad. That group of players is older and more experienced now, many from the Bayern side that won the Champions League two years ago. Winning the whole thing is not out of the question.

Portugal

Last Time: Round of 16

Coach: Paulo Bento (Portugal)  

Players to Watch Out For: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Nani (Man Utd).

Expectations: Any team with Cristiano Ronaldo is expecting to win it all. It depends on how well the rest of the team plays around him though. If their defence is good, Ronaldo will create enough goals. Quarter Finals are realistic.

Ghana

Last Time: Quarter Finals

Coach: Akwasi Appiah (Ghana) 

Players to Watch Out For: Michael Essien (AC Milan), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus).

Expectations: The most successful African team in recent tournaments have the potential to make another run into the knockout stages. They were so unlucky to lose to Uruguay in the quarters last time, Ghana will be hoping for that stage again, though being drawn in the group of death that will not be easy at all.

USA

Last Time: Round of 16

Coach: Juergen Klinsmann (Germany)   

Players to Watch Out For: Tim Howard (Everton), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland).

Expectations: The Americans are always better than people realise. The omission of Landon Donovan surprised many, but there is still plenty of quality in this squad. USA has made the past seven tournaments. Getting out of the toughest group in the cup will do wonders for a passionate and growing American fanbase.

GROUP H

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Belgium

Last Time: Did Not Qualify

Coach: Marc Wilmots (Belgium)

Players to Watch Out For: Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Adnan Januzaj (Man Utd).

Expectations: This is a team stacked with young talent, but not having even qualified the past two tournaments, making it out of the group stage will probably be enough. A run to the quarters would be unbelievable.

Algeria

Last Time: Group Stage

Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Players to Watch Out For: Saphir Taider (Inter Milan), Yacine Brahimi (Granada), Madjid Bougherra (Lekhwiya SC).

Expectations: Having not won a World Cup Finals game since the 1982 tournament, and with a tough group, maybe just scoring a couple of goals will do.

Russia

Last Time: Did Not Qualify

Coach: Fabio Capello (Italy)        

Players to Watch Out For: Igor Denisov (Dynamo Moscow), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit).

Expectations: Once one of the top teams in Europe, the past few decades have been rough going for Russia. In tropical conditions they will probably have trouble, though they can certainly make it to the next round.

South Korea

Last Time: Round of 16

Coach: Hong Myong-Bo (South Korea)  

Players to Watch Out For: Son Heung Min (Bayer Leverkusen), Lee Chung Yong (Bolton), Park Chuyoung (Watford).

Expectations: The round of 16 is probably the benchmark. They will need some luck to make it happen though.