Here is a quick peak into how the teams fared in their qualifers for 2014 FIFA World Cup. Starting from the Asian region, Australia, Iran, Japan and South Korea made the final cut to the mega sports event of the year.
The notable surprise from the Asian group is the presence of middle eastern heavyweights Iran. The Iranians have had a torrid record in the world cup over the years and have been eliminated in the group stage on all occasions.
Brazil provides a chance for some redemption and the Iranians will look to put up a good show. Japan and Australia will also look to enhance their reputation this year.
Moving on to the CONCAF region, Costa Rica, Honduras, USA and Mexico have made it to the event. The North American region is once again represented by all its heavyweights with Mexico leading the charge.
In the African region, Algeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Nigeria have made it. Egypt seems to be the notbale absentee from this list. A lot of African superstars like the Toure brothers, Eto’o, Obi Mikel, Drogba and Essien have plied their trade elsewhere over the years and have been largely successful. Their experience will solely drive the African region.
The South American continent is perhaps most likely to produce the world cup winner and is represented by Argentina, host nation Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador. Analysts have picked up Argentina or Brazil to lift the cup as the familiarity of the territory will come into play. Paraguay remains the notable absentee.
Moving on to the vast European belt, expected notable teams Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, France, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, 2010 winners Spain and Switzerland are in the World Cup event. Belgium is the team to watch out for this year as they boast of one of the finest attacks in Europe. Spain and Germany too will be the most likely teams to battle it out for the cup from the region.
All eyes will also be on perennial chokers England, who seem to have found the right player-manager combination after a long hiatus. They boast of a young attacking side that will look to take the center-stage in Brazil.