Group A at the 2014 World Cup is likely to prove one of the most interesting at the tournament finals and not only because it contains the world’s most decorated national team that are also hosting the tournament. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Brazil will be chasing their sixth ever World Cup title and the first trophy on home soil and no doubt they are hot favourites to win the first place in the group.
The Seleccao start their campaign against very good Croatia side, who have been on a major uptrend of late and are led by Real Madrid star Luka Modric. At the same time, Mexico will be aiming to progress from the group stage for the sixth consecutive time, whilst Cameroon aim to upset the odds and qualify for the Last 16 phase for the first time since 1990.
Winners of Group A
There are absolutely no doubts Brazil will be under pressure to perform in front of the expectant home crowd, but the Seleccao can be trusted to stay on course, at least in the opening exchanges. Luiz Felipe Scolari has added much needed stability to the national team and he has been working with the same group of players for almost two years, which is likely to tell at the tournament finals.
The hosts not only have plenty of individuals capable of producing magic, but they work well as a team and seem to have a good balance in the side as well. With all key players fit and already used to harsh weather conditions, the Seleccao should be a safe bet to finish top of Group A.
Best Odds to Win Group A
While games against Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon are unlikely to be a walk in the park for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s charges, Brazil clearly have more than enough quality and experience at the biggest level to avoid any surprises in the group stage.
To Qualify from Group A
Finding the second team to qualify from Group A alongside Brazil might seem like a difficult task, but Croatia have a very good chance to progress to the next stage. The Eastern European side managed to outplay both Italy and Spain at the Euro 2012, while they now have a number of in-form players in their ranks such as Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic and Dejan Lovren.
And while Cameroon rarely performs up to their potential at the tournament finals and have some key men struggling for fitness, Mexico will have their work cut out for them without Carlos Vela and following injuries to Juan Medina and Luis Montes.
Best Odds to Qualify from Group A
Despite facing each other in the opening fixture of the 2014 World Cup, star-studded Brazil and highly technical Croatia side can be trusted to win the top two places in Group A and qualify for the Last 16 stage.
Group A Match Betting Tips
While facing Mexico in their opening match at the tournament, Cameroon should find the Croatia clash in the second round especially difficult as the Indomitable Lions could struggle to match their highly skilled opponents. Croatia’s slick passing game is likely to prove too much for the opposition and the likes of Mandzukic, Rakitic and Modric should be quite difficult to contain.
Group A Team to Concede Most Goals
With hosts Brazil firing on all cylinders, it won’t be easy for the three other teams in the group to keep the amount of conceded goals to a minimum, and Cameroon in particular are expected to be leaking goals in all three matches. The Indomitable Lions do seem like the weakest side in the group and with their back line hardly impressive, they look a good bet to concede most goals in Group A at the 2014 World Cup.
Both Teams to Score Match Tips
The opening game at the 2014 World Cup is likely to produce plenty of fireworks both on and off the pitch. And while hosts Brazil will be eager to start their campaign with a bang, Croatia can be trusted to hurt the hosts on the break whenever an opportunity arises, as they are not a team that can rely solely on defence. Therefore, we should see both sides register at least a goal each in the curtain-raiser.