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Brazil is a loaded squad that may have one of the best defenses in the tournament and has a solid attack as well led by Neymar and Hulk. Oscar from Chelsea is the rock in the midfield and the host nation faces Croatia, Mexico, and Cameroon in Group A, which Brazil is the big betting favorite to win. They have a tough road to the finals even if they win Group A likely having to face Holland or Spain in the round of 16 match up and then maybe a dream match up facing Germany in the semifinals.
Argentina likely has the best offense in the tournament and the trio of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Napoli’s Gonzolo Higain, and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero all are in the top 10 in odds to win the best goal scorer in Brazil. They face Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina in group play, which are like them in that they have a solid offense, but issues on defense. Team play is key for Argentina, as they sometimes rely too much on individual talent, which has hurt them in the last several World Cups when they face elite squads.
Uruguay won the World Cup the only other time it was hosted in Brazil back in 1950 and they have a solid squad this time around. The offense is the strength of the squad led by the trio of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan, who are all world-class strikers. Still, the defense is the concern and that showed in South American qualifying where they needed to force an intercontinental playoff tie just to qualify for Brazil. On top of that they are in a one of the tougher groups having to face Italy and England.
Colombia came into the World Cup with high hopes, as they were very solid in the South American qualification process and they were not drawn into the toughest of groups. However, lead striker Radamel Falcao pulled out of the World Cup recently and his loss to the offense is a very big blow. He being out means the midfield has to create more offense and the defense is the weakness of the squad.
Chile has a good squad and ended South American qualifying playing great but they were drawn into a very tough group having to face both Holland and Spain. They may have to win the group to go far, as if they finish 2nd they will likely have to face Brazil in the round of 16 match. The defense gave up 1.5 goals per match in qualifying and the midfield may be a big concern since the Spanish and Dutch are so good in that part of the pitch.
Ecuador had a losing record in South American qualifying and they made it to Brazil because of their great home record, which was not surprising since they play at an altitude of over 9,000 feet. They are not in the toughest group, but still have a tall order to get out of it since it has France and Switzerland.Comments Off