June 15, 2014


Who do you think is going to win the World Cup? 

I made my picks using MLS's Brazil Bracket Challenge. 

Join my league at http://bracket.mlssoccer.com/og_objects/wcbracket/groups/2964


How to instantly get the entire World Cup schedule in your Google Calendar (NICK SUMMERS, 6/10/14, Next Web)

Four Teams to Be Bullish on at Brazil's World Cup (Jim O'Neill, 6/08/14, Bloomberg View)

From Group A, host Brazil is likely to get through. If it doesn't, expect a revolution before the competition is even over! Nominating from the other three countries isn't easy as Croatia, Cameroon or Mexico could make it. Given Chicharito has a link to Manchester United, my team, I will go for Mexico.

With apologies to Australia and Chile, the Netherlands and Spain are the likely qualifiers from Group B. While both will fancy their chances of progressing quite far, the nature of the draw means one of them probably won't.

Group C is wide open, and I don't feel confident about any team. My guess is that Japan and Colombia will make it, though their advantage over Greece or Cote d'Ivoire is a slender one.

Who will join Italy in qualifying from Group D, or am I being presumptuous? On balance, I will add England, although I wouldn't be surprised if Uruguay was the second qualifier. Apologies, therefore, to Costa Rica.

I'm sticking with Europeans in Group E, with the occasionally unpredictable France joined by the often well-drilled and organized Switzerland. I'm not overly familiar with either Ecuador or Honduras, but neither has proved the strongest of Latin nations in the past.

Group F has the strongly fancied Argentina and my MINT country friend, Nigeria. I will go for these at the expense of Bosnia and Iran, although it would be intriguing if Iran qualified and went on to meet the U.S.

Speaking of which, can the U.S. get through Group G? In some ways, it's probably the toughest group, and I can't see beyond Germany and Portugal, although Ghana and the U.S. will make life tough for both. German teams are typically as efficient as their economy in avoiding silly errors; you can't say the same for Portugal, but I back them to progress.

I'm selecting two Europeans again from Group H, the talented Belgian team along with Russia, although referring to the Russians as European is currently a subject of some debate. Will Russia's players get booed, as their singers did in the Eurovision Song Contest? I can't see Algeria or South Korea progressing.

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Posted by at June 15, 2014 10:56 AM

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