WORLD CUP GROUP E: Group E will have a good amount of competition in the knockout stage of the 2014 World Cup. Switzerland is a clear favorite but the entire group is filled with many stars to watch from Ecuador, France, and Honduras. This may be a close group during this year’s event.
WORLD CUP GROUP E Teams
Ecuador narrowly escaped the need to compete in a playoff during the qualification process thanks to having a slightly higher goal differential than Uruguay. This is in spite of Felipe Caicedo’s seven goals and Teofilo Gutierrez’s six goals during qualification. Ecuador returns to this year’s World Cup after missing out on the 2010 edition of the event.
Although France had only one loss during the qualification process, the team still had to go through a play-off to make it into the World Cup. Les Bleus continues to have some of the world’s top players including Franck Ribery and Hugo Lloris. Ribery, who is also with Bayern Munich, had gotten at least ten goals per year in the past four seasons while with Bayern and also have five goals and five assists with the national team during the past year. This includes three goals that he scored during qualification with all of those goals being against Belarus.
France happens to be the only team in the group to have made it to the semi-final or better during the World Cup competition. The French side won the entire event in 1998. The side did not win a single match in the 2010 event and will be looking to get back on the podium like in 1998 or in 2006 when they were in second. Form or not, France is anything but a spent force.
Honduras breezed through the qualification stages thanks in part to nine goals in the process by Jerry Bengtson and seven more by Carlo Costly. Los Catrachos recently finished in second place in the 2013 Copa Centroamericana and won the Central American Games during the same year. However, the team has never gotten past the initial group stages of the World Cup.
Switzerland is the only team in Group E to be in the top twenty in FIFA’s international rankings as the Swiss team is ranked eighth among all sides in the world. The Swiss won all but three of their ten qualifying matches as they had draws in the three that they didn’t win. In fact, the team held its opponents scoreless in seven matches with four of the six goals that were given up being in one match with Iceland.
In addition to having Diego Benaglio as a goalkeeper, Gokhan Inler and Tranquillo Barnetta are expected to be big stars for the team during this year’s tourney. Still, the team has struggled with the offense for the most part and is hoping to fix its issues with its offense while getting into the World Cup. However, this side is also the only one to have beaten Spain twice during that side’s recent World Cup and UEAF Euro title runs.