World Cup 2014: Group E – Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras

Hal 18/12/2013 no comments »
World Cup 2014: Group E – Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras

18.12.2013. Group E of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil 2014 will see Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras go head to head for a place in the knockout stages of the tournament.

Switzerland

Switzerland were one of the top seeds for the World Cup 2014 group stages and will begin their campaign with a match against Ecuador in Brasilia. The Swiss, managed by Ottmar Hitzfeld, will then face their biggest test of the group stage when they play France in Salvador which is followed by what is considered their easiest game against Honduras in Manaus. Switzerland impressed many during World Cup Qualifiers by going through the whole campaign unbeaten although their group contained teams that Switzerland were expected to beat such as Cyprus and Albania. Switzerland last achieved their best result at a World Cup finals in 1954 ,when they reached the Quarter-Finals of the competition however a repeat performance in 2014 would be a big surprise and incredible achievement for the Swiss. Looking to help Switzerland progress through their group will be Napoli midfielder and national team captain Gokhan Inler along with Bayern Munich attacker Xherdan Shaqiri, Juventus full back Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bayer Leverkusen striker Eren Derdiyok.

Ecuador

Ecuador will bring some South-American flair to group E and will be optimistic of progressing to the next stage of the competition with the tournament being played on their home continent. First up for Ecuador is an important clash with Switzerland in Brasilia followed by a trip to Curitiba to take on Honduras and then a final group match showdown with France in Rio De Janeiro. Ecuador narrowly avoided a World Cup 2014 play-off match by impressively beating Uruguay to fourth place in a highly competitive South American qualifying group which included the likes of Argentina and Chile. 2014 will only be the third time Ecuador have appeared in a World Cup finals with their best tournament coming in 2006 when they reached the first knockout round. Should head coach Reinaldo Rueda reach the same stage in 2014 it will be seen as a big success for the nation of Ecuador and South American football. Ecuador’s current squad contains some talented players such as Manchester United midfielder Antonio Valencia and ex-Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo along with many players who currently play in Ecuador’s domestic league.

France

France will be considered favourites by many to win group E based on their successful history in World Cup tournaments and impressive playing squad. The French will begin their tournament against Honduras in Porto Alegre and go on to face Switzerland and Ecuador in Salvador and Rio De Janeiro respectively. France had to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg of their World Cup play-off match against Ukraine to reach Brazil 2014 after finishing second in their qualifying group behind current World champions Spain. Now, France are in the tournament, manager Didier Deschamps will be hoping his team can become a major force in the competition and perhaps even come close to repeating France’s World Cup winning campaign of 1998. The French squad is certainly one of the strongest in the competition with Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris in goal, a defence including Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny and Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho, a midfield which possesses the creativity and energy of Yohan Cabaye, Paul Pogba, Samir Nasri and Franck Ribery and an attack containing the likes of Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud and Loic Remy to choose from.

Honduras

The odds will be firmly stacked against Honduras progressing from group E in Brazil 2014 however they will be looking to prove that hard work and courage can see the underdogs triumph. Honduras face the daunting task of playing France in their opening group game in a match they will be expected to lose although spirits will be high in the Honduras camp and the CONCACAF qualifiers will certainly be no pushovers in Porto Alegre. Honduras will then take on Ecuador in Curitiba and Switzerland in Manaus in two matches that will be crucial to their hopes of reaching the next stage of the competition. Honduras have never gone past the group stage in a World Cup in their two previous appearances and finished bottom of their group in 2010 which coincidently contained 2014 opponents Switzerland. Manager Luis Fernando Suarez will be hoping to get the best out of players like Hull City’s full back Maynor Figueroa, Celtic midfielder Emilio Izaguirre and Stoke City midfielder Wilson Palacios in order to cause a few upsets in the competition.

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