2014 SWC preview: Group E
SWC 2014 (File)
Cape Town - Sport24's Wade Pretorius previews Group E at the 2014 Soccer World Cup and thinks France will top the “Group of Ease”.
You know never which French team is going to arrive at a Soccer World Cup, they are brilliantly unpredictable but surely there is nothing more unpredictable than the FIFA rankings.
Almost unbelievably Switzerland are ranked 8th. Remember the last the time they won an event? Me neither. The Swiss coasted through qualifying in an easy group and they will probably coast through Group E. France have the potential to be dark-horses in Brazil but only time will tell if they can harness their energy for good.
Players to watch:
Gokhan Inler, Xherdan Shaqiri, Stephan Lichtsteiner (all Switzerland), Franck Ribery, Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema and Raphaël Varane (all France).
Two to go through:
Team to create a stir:
France. This team for some reason is never far from controversy and I’m expecting some level of pandemonium in the French ranks before the tournament is over. France have included injury-hit star Ribery but will be able to rely on Benzema and Olivier Giroud should Ribery be forced onto the sidelines.
Match not to be missed:
France v Switzerland – The winner gets to keep the Alps? This is by far the most intriguing game in the Group of Ease. Switzerland are capable of causing the odd upset as they proved in the 2010 SWC where they beat Spain in the first group game. Add this to the fact that French team are likely to be in some sort of shambles come kick-off and this game could just be one of the best encounters in the group stage. France should take it but don’t bet your house on it.
Don’t forget to join our Superbru pool for the 2014 SWC and test yourself against the Sport24 team.
Will France crumble under the lack of pressure? Will the Swiss be capable of repeating their giant killing antics? Will anyone notice Ecuador or Honduras playing at the event?
Look out for our Group A, Group B, Group C and Group D previews.
Follow Sport24's Wade Pretorius on twitter: @wadepretorius