Sunday, 15 June 2014

Group 5 not much to set the pulse alight except the frogs

Group E kicks off this afternoon (16.00 GMT) with the very scintillating clash between 2 teams from mountainous countries, Switzerland and Ecuador. The similarities end with the mention of mountains. Ecuador have a fine record playing in the rarefied atmosphere of the capital Quito at an altitude of 9,000 ft, but don't do very well away from home.

Switzerland, better known for its cow bells and chocolate has slowly matured like a fine Swiss cheese into a very respectable football team. They are currently ranked 6th in the world rankings and last time round beat Spain in the first game( I know that Spain lost this time as well, but that was different). An interesting phenomenon is that half of the Swiss squad consists of foreign born players especially from the Balkans and Turkey. I mention this as Switzerland has recently passed a referendum to limit immigration, which would have stopped the development of their current squad.

Prediction Switzerland to win

The second game sees France take on Honduras (19.00 GMT). This is the 3rd world cup for Honduras, and they have lost all their games to date, but they take their football very seriously in Honduras, so much so that in 1969 they had a short war with neighbouring El Salvador after a World cup qualifier between the 2 nations.

The French should win this comfortably, but if ever a nation could slip up, it is the French. Their temperament is suspect at least. In S Africa, 4 years ago, it didn't take long for the the stories of discord to come out of the French dressing room, once things started going wrong on the pitch. The French coach surprised many when he picked his squad for the world cup by leaving out one or two leading players. However those players were know to be problematic to say the least to dressing room harmony. They are also missing through injury, Frank Ribery, one of the more unpleasant looking players in modern football.
Ribery and his scar

Although of course, I hope otherwise, France to win

We will preview Group F later tonight

1 comment:

  1. Re: Switzerland - seems like the familar case of a country which is anti- immigration but still happy to accept the benefits... Which in a lot of cases is better sportsmen, better music and better food