Argentina have been placed in the easiest of the World Cup groups in Brazil, according to the FIFA rankings. in Group F they’ll be playing Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria.
Argentina. Twice winners of the World Cup, and both times they’d been held in South America (as hosts and in Mexico). Can they make this a hat-trick. Their 5th ranking by FIFA is about right, and are a good bet for being finalists. Good run into the World Cup in their warm-up friendlies, though none of them were particularly tough. A team containing Lionel Messi can only succeed?
Star Man. Messi of course. What can be said that hasn’t already been said? Unexpected hero? Ezequiel Garay of Benfica, a 27 years-old with 18 Caps but no Goals
Bosnia-Herzegovina. Went on a goal scoring spree in qualifying for this tournament. This will be the first visit to the finals in their own right for the ‘Dragons’. Not expected to progress too far, but being in a weak group could give them the confidence to progress a few rounds. The warm-up friendlies have gone well for Bosnia, though the game against Egypt back in March saw the team booed as they left the pitch, when they lost 2-0 and the players openly critical of coach Safet Susic afterwards.
Star Man. Miralem Pjanic. Unexpected hero? Sead Kolasinac
Iran. Ranked 43rd in the world, their tight defence will be their hope of progression. Many of their players ply their trade in Iran, but there is enough European players to give them some experience of top flight football. This will be Iran’s 4th appearance in the finals of the competition, but they’ve never progressed beyond the group stage.
Star Man. Reza Ghoochannejad. Unexpected hero?
Star Man. Victor Moses. Unexpected hero? Emmanuel Emenike of Fenerbahce , the 27-year-old forward has played 23 times for Nigeria scoring 9 times.
Prediction. 1st Argentina, 2nd Bosnia, 3rd Nigeria and 4th Iran.
Group F Fixtures.
|Sunday 15th June||Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina||23:00||BBC 1||Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro|
|Monday 16th June||Iran v Nigeria||20:00||BBC 1||Arena da Baixada, Curitiba|
|Saturday 21st June||Argentina v Iran||17:00||ITV||Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte|
|Saturday 21st June||Nigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina||23:00||BBC 1||Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba|
|Wednesday 25th June||Nigeria v Argentina||17:00||ITV||Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre|
|Wednesday 25th June||Bosnia-Herzegovina v Iran||17:00||ITV4||Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador|