2014 FIFA World Cup – Group E
Thursday, June 12 – Sunday, July 13, 2014
Host Nation: Brazil
Defending Champion: Spain
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker
Group E in the 2014 World Cup is another wide open group that is unpredictable. Switzerland is the seeded team in the group but France is favored. Ecuador and Honduras complete the group.
Let’s take a look at the four teams in the group with their odds to win the group and the World Cup with odds courtesy of Bookmaker.
France (-128 Group, +2294 Cup)
France is making their 15th appearance in the World Cup. They won it in 1998 in their home country, and were the runner ups to Italy in 2006 in Germany. France was eliminated in the group stage in 2010.
France is #17 in the FIFA World Rankings. France finished second in their qualifying group with 17 points behind Spain. France lost the first leg of a two leg playoff at Ukraine 2-0, but came back and won in Paris 3-0 to qualify for the Cup. France outscored opponents 15-6 during qualifying.
France is coached by Didier Deschamps. He was the captain of the 1998 team that won the World Cup, and took over as coach for France after Euro 2012. His job got a little more difficult when it was announced last week that Forward Franck Ribery, considered to be one of the best players in the world, will miss the tournament with a back injury. Midfielder Clement Grenier will also miss the World Cup with a thigh injury. Striker Olivier Giroud looks to pick the scoring slack with out Ribery. Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, and Mathieu Valbuena are also talented scorers. Keeper Hugo Lloris anchors a strong back line along with defenders Patrice Evra, Laurent Koscielny and Raphael Varane.
It is important for France, Ecuador or Switzerland to win the group because they could avoid Argentina in the round of 16. Argentina is a heavy favorite to win Group F. The winner of group E will face an easier game against either Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran or Nigeria. France opens with the Group E long shot Honduras before facing Switzerland and then Ecuador. I think France finishes second in the group without Ribery behind Switzerland.
Switzerland (+250 Group, +1449 Cup field)
Switzerland is making their 10th appearance in the World Cup, including 3 straight. They have made it as far as the quarterfinals three times but the last was in 1954. In 2010, Switzerland shocked eventual champion Spain 1-0 in their opening group games. However, a loss to Chile and a disappointing draw to Honduras kept the Swiss from advancing to the knockout phase.
Switzerland is #6 in the FIFA Rankings. The Swiss won their qualifying group with 24 points over second place Iceland. Switzerland outscored opponents 17-6 in qualifying, en route to 7 wins and 3 draws in ten qualifying games.
Switzerland is coached by Ottmar Hitzfeld who will retire after the World Cup. A trio of talented young immigrants has led Switzerland to become a very good team, Xherdan Shaqiri (Kosovo), Granit Xhaka (Albania), and Gokhan Inler (Turkey). They join veterans Tranquillo Barnetta and Philippe Senderos. The keeper Diego Benaglio is very good.
Switzerland opens with Ecuador, then plays border rival France before closing with Honduras again just like in 2010. I think Switzerland finds a way to win the group and avoid Argentina. I think a quarterfinal berth is in line for the first time in 60 years.
Ecuador (+402 group, +8550 Cup)
Ecuador is making their third trip to the World Cup since 2002. In 2006, they went to the round of 16 and lost to England. Ecuador missed out on the Cup in 2010.
Ecuador is #26 in the FIFA rankings. Ecuador finished tied with Uruguay for fourth in CONMEBOL qualifying. Ecuador clinched the last automatic spot via goal differential, sending Uruguay to a two leg playoff against Jordan. Ecuador did not win a game on the road but they used the over 9,000 feet altitude of Quito to a 7-0-1 home record. Ecuador scored 20 goals and conceded 16 goals.
Ecuador is coached by Reinaldo Rueda who coached Honduras and Colombia before this. He led Honduras to their first World Cup since 1982 in 2010. Forward Felipe Caicedo scored 7 goals in qualifying for Ecuador to lead the team. Midfielder Antonio Valencia is a striker for Manchester United. He is an electrifying scorer. Veteran captain Walter Ayovi played for Ecuador in 2002 and 2006. His leadership will be invaluable. Ecuador is playing with a heavy heart after striker Chuco Benitez suddenly died of a heart attack last year. Maximo Banguera is the keeper.
Ecuador opens with Switzerland, before taking on Rueda’s old Honduras team, and closing with France. I think Ecuador narrowly misses out on the knockout phase.
Honduras (+2716 Group, +80250 Cup)
Honduras is making their second straight trip to the World Cup and third overall. Honduras has never won a game in the World Cup but they do have several draws. Honduras had a draw against Switzerland in 2010 that kept the Swiss from advancing to the Round of 16.
Honduras finished third in CONCACAF qualifying behind the United States and Costa Rica. They did finish ahead of regional power Mexico though, and it was a shocking road victory in Mexico City in September that clinched the berth for Honduras. Honduras is #33 in the FIFA Rankings.
Honduras is coached by Luis Fernando Suarez. He coached Ecuador in their 2006 run to the round of 16. He has coached Honduras since 2011. The team is lead by captain and goalkeeper Noel Valladares. Midfielder Roger Espinoza is one of the best two way players in North America. Forward Carlo Costly is also a talented striker. Defenseman Emilio Izaguirre is a good playmaker and can set up his teammates.
Honduras opens with France, before the emotional Ecuador game and then closes with Switzerland. It would be a surprise if Honduras even won a game in this group, but they might get a draw.
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