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World Cup Preview: Group F

I preview Group F of the 2014 World Cup. Group F contains Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nigeria and Iran.

Alexandre Loureiro

Group F seems fairly straight forward, Argentina being overwhelming favourites to win the group however the second place could be any of the remaining 3 with Bosnia-Herzegovina being favourites to claim it.

Argentina- The top heavy attack leaves the Argentine defence wide open with little security. Their 4-3-3 allows Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain to stretch play which gives Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi room to stretch his legs in between the midfield and defence. Their 5 strikers fire power can’t be matched by any nation. 124 goals between Ezequiel Lavezzi, Rodrigo Palacio, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Lionel Messi have in top class league have labelled their front 3 and Angel Di Maria in midfield as "Los Cuatro Fantasicos" which gives the expected large support something to cheer about and possibly overcome their defensive worries.

Key Player-Lionel Messi, who else? The 4 time Ballon d’Or winner has scored 10 times in Argentina’s qualifying campaign and looks to raise the roof in Rio this summer with some magical moments similar to the ones we have seen at Barcelona. Alejandro Sabella handed him the captaincy prior to the World Cup qualifiers giving him a more free role and making the impressive Angel Di Maria more disciplined in the midfield 3.

Prediction- 1st – Semi Final

Bosnia-Herzegovina- Their first World Cup Finals, another team with little security at the back. B-H have an impressive attack and mass amounts of playmakers puts the Bookies in an awkward position.  Their 4-4-2 diamond could experience some change against Argentina but expect to turn on the goals against Iran and Nigeria.

Key Player- Edin Dzeko, the Bosnian has delievered whenever called upon by Manuel Pellegrini this season. Dzeko scored 26 times in all competitions and has 35 for his country. His strength, aerial presence and eye for goal make him a serious threat to Argentina’s rickety defence and could influence the winner of the group.

Prediction-2nd-Quarter Final

Iran- Asia’s highest ranked team heading to Brazil, Iran kept 10 clean sheets in their qualifying campaign showing defensive qualities and very rigid mentalities. However they don’t pose much threat going forward with often predictable build up, Iran lack creativity and midfield spark to pose a real threat going forward. It could be an early exit for the infamous Carlos Quieroz’s side this summer.

Key Player-Reza Ghoochannejhad, who? Ghoochannejhad played a pivotal part in Charlton’s survival bid last season. The Dutch-raised centre forward can prove a real handful for defences on his day.

Prediction-4th

Nigeria- Head Coach Steven Keshi has been in charge of a concentrated transition period for the Super Eagles since failing to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations. Keshi guided Nigeria to a first African title since 1994 but they will have to make significant progress if they are to match Boznia and Argentina stride for stride.

Key Player- Former Latics man Victor Moses, the full of running winger has become an integral part of Steven Keshi’s side since 2012. Moses can run and beat a man with great ease. His skill can create space for himself to set up his team mates and even chip in with a goal or two. If Moses does perform this summer then Group F could be in for some shocks.

Prediction-3rd