World Cup 2014: Will it be Switzerland or Ecuador?


Ecuador's Enner Valencia (left) and Switzerland's Granit Xhaka can play key roles to ensure their respective team's qualification to the second round.

ARGENTINA have qualified to the next round and will look to top their group by beating Nigeria. However, the Super Eagles need a win to qualify for the next round, but that is still dependant on the Iran-Bosnia matchup!

Switzerland and Ecuador will fight it out for the last berth in group E, with France firmly in the driving seat to top the group. Here are the previews for the final group E and group F matches.

Group F
Nigeria vs Argentina

Nigeria only need a draw to qualify for the next round, provided Bosnia beat Iran in the other group match. But getting a result against the Argentinians won’t be easy for Stephen Keshi’s side.

Argentina have already qualified for the second round and will want to top the group with a victory over Nigeria.

Albiceleste manager Alejandro Sabella might rest some players, but he will surely field his talisman Lionel Messi.

We might see Ezequiel Lavezzi, Rodrigo Palacio and Lucas Biglia playing, and the three - despite not being regulars for the national team - can cause problems for the Nigerians.

Messi has scored two goals in two games and we can expect him to be on the scoresheet again. The decision to give a him a free role has been a success, and Sabella will hope to see his side go far in this tournament.

Nigerians have pacy and tricky players, with the experience of Joseph Yobo, Vincent Enyeama and Peter Odemwingie steadying their ship a little.

Keshi will look towards Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses and Emmanuel Emenike for inspiration, and if they click, will be a nuisance for many defenders.

It is going to be an open game because both sides will go for the win. Argentina to beat Nigeria 3-1.

Bosnia vs Iran

Bosnia is out of contention and but will want to end their World Cup campaign on a high. Can they do it against Iran?

Iran is still in contention for a spot in the second round, but they have to pray for an Argentinian victory. However, Carlos Queiroz has to go all out and score as many goals as they can. Their goal difference is -1.

In the last two games, their centre-backs were lauded for their organised and resolute displays. But for this game, players like Ashkan Dejagah, Reza Ghoochanejhad and Javed Nekounam will have to be at their creative best to score goals against the Bosnians.

Safet Susic will stick with his current line-up but maybe bench Emir Spahic who had a terrible game against Nigeria.

They will play for pride in this match and I expect players like Haris Medunjanin, Miralem Pjanic, Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic to give it their all.

I see Bosnia winning this game 2-0 and going out of the tournament together with Iran.

Group E
Honduras vs Switzerland

Switzerland will go all out to win this game and qualify for the next round. Between Ecuador and Switzerland, the Swiss have an easier match-up. Ottmar Hitzfeld's boys were blitzed by the French in the last game and he has to rally boys to go far in the tournament.

Youngsters Xerdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka, Ricardo Rodriguez and Haris Seferovic, together with experienced heads like Gokhan Inler, Valon Behrami and Steven von Bergen will want to end their group campaign in a good note.

Honduras looks out if depth in this group. Coach Luis Fernandez Suarez will hope for at least a point but I doubt it will happen for this side. They have talents like Roger Espinoza, Carlos Costly and Wilson Palacios, but not the strength or depth of the Swiss.

Hitzfeld to lead his side to a 2-0 victory.

Ecuador vs France

Reinaldo Rueda will urge his side to win it, but France will want to top their group with a win tonight.

Under Didier Deschamps, France has looked confident and composed. Karim Benzema is undoubtedly the star man for them right now and his combination with Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Valbuena has been devastating.

If Benzema is the star man for France, then Ecuador will be hoping for some Enner Valencia magic.

He will face a tough time against Raphael Varane and Mamadou Sakho, who appear to be the best centre-back partnership in the World Cup so far.

Ecuador will go all out but France’s technical superiority will be the winning factor for them. France to beat Ecuador 3-0.

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Group E , Group F , World Cup 2014

   

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