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GROUP ECUADOR, FRANCE, HONDURAS, SWITZERLAND E.

ECUADOR World ranking: 26 Coach: Reinaldo Rueda Key player: Felipe Caicedo Previous best: Last 16, 2006 Goalkeepers: Maximo Banguera (Barcelona SC), Alexander Dominguez (LDU Quito), Adrian Bone (El Nacional). Defenders: Frickson Erazo (Flamengo), Jorge Guagua, Oscar Bagui, Gabriel Achilier (all Emelec), Walter Ayovi (Pachuca), Juan Carlos Paredes (Barcelona SC). Midfielders: Segundo Castillo (Al-Hilal), Carlos Gruezo (Stuttgart), Renato Ibarra (Vitesse Arnhem), Cristian Noboa (Dynamo Moscow), Luis Saritama (Barcelona SC), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Edison Mendez (Independiente Santa Fe), Fidel Martinez (Tijuana), Michael Arroyo (Atlante). Forwards: Felipe Caicedo (Al-Jazira), Jefferson Montero (Morelia), Joao Rojas (Cruz Azul), Jaime Ayovi (Tijuana), Enner Valencia (Pachuca).

FRANCE World ranking: 17 Coach: Didier Deschamps Key player: Paul Pogba Previous best: Winners 1998 Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Stephane Ruffier (Marseille), Mickael Landreau (Bastia). Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), Lucas Digne (Paris St-Germain) Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny, Bacary Sagna (both Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid). Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi (both Paris St-Germain), Morgan Schneiderlin (Sourthampton), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille). Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Loic Remy (QPR), Remy Cabella (Montpellier).

HONDURAS World ranking: 33 Coach: Luis Fernando Suarez Key player: Jerry Bengtson Previous best: Group stage 1982, 2010 Goalkeepers: Noel Valladares, Donis Escober (both Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real Espana). Defenders: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan), Maynor Figueroa (Hull), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Osman Chavez (Qingdao Janoon), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua). Midfielders: Edder Delgado (Real Espana), Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Jorge Claros (Motagua), Wilson Palacios (Stoke), Oscar Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Andy Najar (Anderlecht), Mario Martinez (Real Espana), Marvin Chavez (Chivas USA). Forwards: Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense), Carlo Costly (Real Espana), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad).

SWITZERLAND World ranking: 6 Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld Key player: Xherdan Shaqiri Previous best: Quarter-finals 1934, 1938, 1954 Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), Roman Buerki (Grasshopper), Yann Sommer (Basel). Defenders: Johan Djourou (Hamburg), Michael Lang (Grasshopper), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Fabian Schaer (Basel), Philippe Senderos (Aston Villa), Steve von Bergen (Young Boys), Reto Ziegler (Sassuolo). Midfielders: Tranquillo Barnetta (Eintracht Frankfurt), Valon Behrami (Napoli), Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli), Gelson Fernandes (Freiburg), Gokhan Inler (Napoli), Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich), Valentin Stocker (Basel). Forwards: Josip Drmic (Nuremberg), Mario Gavranovic (Zurich), Admir Mehmedi (Freiburg), Haris Seferovic (Real Sociedad), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach).

LIPTON'S VERDICT: Losing Ribery so late was a huge blow, but France still received a massive boost at the draw in December after Platini's manipulations paid off. They should top the group. Ecuador and the Swiss are likely to battle for second spot.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:3ECUD
Date:Jun 7, 2014
Words:440
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