Printer Friendly

WORLD CUP sweepstake; You can be a winner with our cutout guide to all 32 teams in Brazil.

ABBRAZIL AAMANAGER "Big" Phil Scolari led the Samba Boys to World Cup glory in 2002 and is bidding to repeat the triumph on home soil. The backing of 200million supporters will be a huge bonus but dealing with the finals fever also brings immense expectations. The bookmakers' favourites to triumph.

AAGROUP AMMEXICO ASIX of the 11 players who beat Brazil in the 2012 Olympic final are likely to feature in the group opener with Cameroon. The Mexicans have qualified from their group in each of the past five World Cups only to be eliminated at the last 16 stage every time. History looks set to repeat itself once again.

AGROUP ACCROATIA ALOST twice to Scotland in qualifying but still made it to South America via a play-off win over Iceland. Their technical style of play should be suited to the hot conditions but they have a hectic travel schedule to overcome. Striker Mario Mandzukic is banned from the opener against Brazil.

AGROUP ACCAMEROON The Indomitable Lions are World Cup finals regulars but don't expect them to be roaring in Rio. Since reaching the quarter-finals at Italia 90, they have won just one of their 12 group matches. Talk of bitter in-fighting and dressing-room disharmony does little to inspire any confidence in Volker Finke's side.

AGROUP ASPAIN AATHE defending champions and European Championship winners have flown under the radar recently but Vincente del Bosque's side are still a formidable force. The majority of their squad know what it takes to win a major tournament and have been beaten once in their last 33 competitive matches.

ABGROUP ACCHILE AAJORGE Sampaoli's side are tournament dark horses after finishing behind Argentina in an impressive qualifying campaign. A squad packed with talent - including Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal of Juventus - they are 13th in the FIFA world rankings. Capable of beating anyone on their day.

BGROUP AHOLLAND AARUNNERS-UP four years ago in South Africa, it's hard to see Louis van Gaal's inexperienced squad coming close to a repeat. Key men Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder have struggled with injury and form loss, and their defence doesn't look good enough. May exit at the group stages.

BGROUP AAAUSTRALIA THE Socceroos look ill-prepared to trouble any of their opponents in what is arguably the toughest group in the competition. It's hard to see Ange Postecoglou's inexperienced squad, which is desperately short of worldclass players, having anything other than three defeats. Out of their depth.

BGROUP ACCOLOMBIA AATHE loss of star striker Radamael Falcao is a massive blow but they can still comfortably make it through to the knock-out stages. Enjoyed a terrific qualifying campaign, where they had the best defensive record - and proved their quality by drawing 0-0 with Argentina in Buenos Aires.

CGROUP AIIVORY COAST AAON paper, Les Elephants have one of the better squads - with Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, Check Tiote and Wilfried Bony at their disposal. They are a physically imposing side but have flattered to deceive at the previous two World Cups, where they failed to make it out of their group.

CGROUP AGGREECE ANOT the most talented squad in the competition but the Greeks are extremely resolute. They conceded just four goals in qualifying then saw off Romania in the play-offs to secure their place at the FIFA jamboree. They won't be pretty to watch but can cause problems.

CGROUP AJJAPAN ATHE Japanese reached the knockout stages at the last two tournaments and could be capable of another bold showing. Alberto Zaccheroni is an attack-minded coach and while they have defensive shortcomings, Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa and Milan's Keisuke Honda provide flair.

CGROUP AURUGUAY AU A RUN to the semi-finals in South Africa four years ago has raised expectations but they were far from convincing in qualifying. Injury worries over talisman Luis Suarez must be a concern but manager Oscar Tabarez has Edinson Cavani to call upon - even if Suarez fails to prove his fitness.

ADGROUP AENGLAND AAPROVIDING Roy Hodgson unleashes his talented youngsters, the Three Lions might reach the latter stages of the competition. Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana deserve to start. If England go with the old guard then expect them to scrape out of the group before exiting on penalties.

DGROUP ACCOSTA RICA MANAGER Jorge Luis Pinto has won titles in four different countries but it will need a miracle for the Central Americans to win any of their games. Almost half of Pinto's squad play in the pitifully poor Costa Rican league and their only performer of note, Everton's Bryan Oviedo, misses out with a broken leg.

DGROUP AIITALY AATHE Azzuri are one of the best-drilled teams in the competition. Built around veteran playmaker Andrea Pirlo, coach Cesare Prandelli has made them greater than the sum of their parts. Runners-up at Euro 2012, the Italians will be in the mix, providing their travel programme doesn't take its toll.

ADGROUP ASswitzerland AAEIGHTH in the FIFA rankings, the Swiss have made great strides under wily coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. Friendly wins over Germany and Brazil and a victory over eventual winners Spain at the last World Cup highlight the potential of his team. Dangerous floaters in the bottom half of the draw.

EGROUP AFfrance AALOSING Franck Ribery to injury was a blow to Les Bleus. Boss Didier Deschamps left trouble-making Manchester City star Samir Nasri at home to avoid the dressing-room squables which undermined their two previous tournament campaigns. Outsiders who can cause a surprise if they stay united.

EGROUP AEecuador AON home soil, Ecuador are a formidable force - having lost just two of their last 36 qualifying matches. Playing in the high altitude of Quito is a major advantage but they've never been the best of travellers and failed to win any of their away games in the last campaign. An early exit beckons.

EGROUP AHhonduras ATHE climate will benefit them but whether they can win their first-ever match at a World Cup finals is debatable. They didn't score a goal in three group matches four years ago and Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre may have his work cutout trying to keep them out at the other end. No-hopers.

EGROUP Aargentina AACOACH Alejandro Sabella has an embarrassment of riches in attack with Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero all in his squad. That trio, who will be supplied by the outstanding Angel di Maria, would strike fear into any defence on the planet. The most likely winners.

AFGROUP AAIIRAN AVOIDING embarrassment is the object of the exercise for the total outsiders, who are bossed by former Manchester United assistant Carlos Queiroz. It's impossible to see the Middle Eastern side troubling any of their group rivals and they will, almost certainly, be on the first flight home.

FGROUP ABbosnia & HERZ AASAFET Susic's side are the only World Cup debutants but don't expect them just to make up the numbers. The squad may lack tournament experience but Susic has a core of players who have proved themselves in Europe's major leagues. Should join Argentina in the last 16.

FGROUP ANnigeria ATHE Super Eagles are the reigning African Nations Cup holders but are unlikely to soar. Stephen Keshi's side looked no great shakes in the recent friendly against Scotland and have earned a reputation for playing dull football. Seven of their last eight competitive games have featured two goals or less.

FGROUP Agermany AGTHE Germans may have only one recognised striker in their squad but their midfield options are the envy of every nation in Brazil. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Julian Draxler, Mario Goetze, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira are all top-drawer performers. Will be hard to stop.

AAGGROUP AGHANA AATHE Black Stars might be the only African nation to shine at this summer's World Cup - despite being in a tough section. They were only a missed penalty kick away from reaching the semi-finals in South Africa four years ago and have an equally strong squad this time around.

GROUP GAportugal AARONALDO has been carrying an injury in the build-up to Brazil. The Real Madrid star might have to carry the team if Portugal are to triumph at this World Cup but he is more than capable of winning matches on his own. Providing he is fully recovered, Paulo Bento's men are a real danger.

GGROUP AUSA AJURGEN Klinsmann won the World Cup as a player and took Germany to the semi-finals as a manager but has his work cutout negotiating a path into the knock-out stages with the US in Brazil. Much to Klinsmann's disgust, they have been handed the travel schedule from hell in their group fixtures.

GGROUP Abelgium AATHERE is plenty to like about this vibrant young Belgium squad. From goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois through to Romelu Lukaku up front - with Vincent Kompany in defence and Eden Hazard on the wing - they have an abundance of genuine class but lack major tournament experience.

AHGROUP Arussia ACOACH Fabio Capello was less than impressive at the last World Cup with England and could be in for more disappointment with the Russians. His ageing defence could be found out in the heat and humidity of Brazil and it's hard to get excited by their style of football.

HGROUP Aalgeria AFORMER Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra scored the decider as the North Africans scrapped through a play-off on away goals against Burkina Faso. They were dire at the last World Cup, failing to get on the scoresheet, and are unlikely to progress beyond the group stages for the first time.

HGROUP ASOUTH KOREA ATHE remarkably consistent Koreans are taking part in their eighth consecutive finals. While they have little chance of reaching the semi-finals as they did on home soil in 2002, they can make it through the group stages. Eight members of their squad claimed bronze at the 2012 Olympics.

HGROUP how to play HERE'S how you can be a World Cup winner with our super sweepstake kit. Cut out the names of all the competing countries from the groups listed on the left. Put them all in a box and ask your friends or colleagues to pick one each, or more if you have less than 32 entrants.

Then put the nation they picked in the list below.

TEAM NAME BRAZIL CROATIA MEXICO CAMEROON SPAIN HOLLAND CHILE AUSTRALIA COLOMBIA GREECE IVORY COAST JAPAN URUGUAY COSTA RICA ENGLAND ITALY SWITZERLAND ECUADOR FRANCE HONDURAS ARGENTINA BOSNIA & HERZ IRAN NIGERIA GERMANY PORTUGAL GHANA USA BELGIUM ALGERIA RUSSIA SOUTH KOREA 1xA No Chance 2xA Tough task 3xA In the mix 4xA Could do it 5xA Favourites
COPYRIGHT 2014 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:3BRAZ
Date:Jun 10, 2014
Words:1755
Previous Article:Will: I'm up Ferr a bit of carnage.
Next Article:Drowning was third tragedy to hit family; Anguish over river death.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters