Brazil: The “pentacampeones” (five time champions) of the world cup get another go at the beloved World Cup in their country. Their last cup was won in 2002 which means its been 12 years and three tournaments have passed since the last time a star was added to the team crest. Brazil is expected to reach the semi finals, at least, while keeping in mind they have the opportunity to become champions again. But, this time on their home soil. Brazil has an incredibly solid defense. The offense will most likely be led by 22 year old Neymar Jr..
Croatia: The country with only 5 million people has some well-known football players on big teams which could help lead them past the group stages. Having only been in four world cups, Croatia’s best result was in their first World Cup (1998) in which they got as far as 3rd place. This year they’re ranked 18th in the FIFA rankings with a tough opening game against the host Brazil. The key player for European club champions Real Madrid, Luka Modric, will have to keep his top performances strong as he is needed to be a big part of the Croatian team engine. He will have Mario Manzukic, the striker, as a valuable target to pass to. But, Manzukic will have a tough task at hand.
Cameroon: A nation that plays very physical football and with their quick pace put up a big challenge for both Mexico, Croatia and, most likely, for Brazil, as well. The “indomitable Lions” set to go out and attack with quick passing to get the ball up through the middle to forward Samuel Eto’o. While Samuel Eto’o is the heart of the Cameroonian team, a heart doesn’t function alone and will have help coming from one of the French Lique’s top goal scorer’s, Vincent Aboubaka. Cameroon has eyes set on getting out of the group stage with their first game going up against Mexico.
Mexico: “El Tri”, or tricolor, named after the three colors in the flag. They have a good track record against Brazil winning the last 7 of their 13 meetings, El Tri will have to believe in themselves and in their potential as they battle to come out of the group stage which, looks achievable but, tough. Their attack plan is to have everyone defend even though they are mainly attacking and will look to implement both wing backs to go up the flanks simultaneously. Key players like midfielder Giovanni Dos Santos, along with key defenders Hector Moreno and Rafael Marquez, will need to have precise passes through out the stretch while keeping their great court vision.