So four days in and the teams I think will win the tournament make their first bow in Brazil – see this previous blog:-
Argentina go to Rio and I expect them to stamp their mark on the tournament against first time qualifiers Bosnia and Herzegovina. They will want to send out a statement and what better place than at the Maracana Stadium (where the final will be played too). This would give the Brazilians in attendance something to think about big time.
France will be looking to put all memories of their in fighting from South Africa four years ago in a box and dump it in a hole six feet under, especially as they ended the tournament with no wins from their three games. Their record since they became World Champions on their own patch in 1998 has been very topsy turvy, 2002 out at group stage, 2006 runners up, 2010 out at group stage. They will take that run to continue with just a different outcome if they reach the final. Honduras to begin in Porto Alegre and a win has to be their aim if they want to be considered as challengers for the trophy.
ps a quick postscript from the England game. For me a good performance especially going forward, defensively issues but we all knew about these. I did note all the hysteria before the game, I thought draw, a lot of fans saying England win (going with their heart instead of head the closer it came to KO). Italy are a top side, Pirlo was imperious, they are seasoned at performing in tournaments and I felt we matched them much better than two years ago in the Euro’s but their experience showed. For me the future looks bright for England but patience the key for the fans – it will take time, though I still feel we can get through the group – massive game against Uruguay on Thursday – blog to come in due course.
Switzerland 2 Ecuador 1
France 2 v Honduras 0
Argentina 4 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1
Let me know what you think – you can also tweet me @biggishmouth or go to my facebook page at www.facebook.com/thebiggishmouth