World Cup 2014, Group A: Host Nation Heavy Favorite To Take Title

The teams bracketed in the 2014 World Cup Group A — Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, and Cameroon — come in with a huge disadvantage from the start.

Brazil has a record that speaks for itself in the World Cup. The players are ready to prove that they are still top contenders when they take on their fellow teams starting June 12.

The host nation is the winningest team of them all with five titles to its name, two-second place finishes, and two-third places in World Cup history.

Clearly Group A has a favorite and it is Brazil, but we cannot discount any of the other teams coming to play in the 2014 World Cup next month.

Fans will flock to locations in in Sao Paulo, Fortaleza, and Brasilia to cheer for the “Seleção” when the yellow and green take on the familiar teams.

Brazil has played all three teams in the past and the 2014 World Cup will afford manager, Luis Felipe Scolari, the opportunity to redeem himself after leaving such iconic names in Brazilian football as Kaka out of his squad.

The opening match against Croatia is a repeat of the 2006 match in Germany, when Kaka carried them to victory. The same is the case with Cameroon, a reminder of the 1994 US World Cup when Brazil beat Cameroon 3-0 to qualify for the knockout stage. Brazil won the tournament that year.

Mexico is a bit of a different story in Group A of the 2014 World Cup. Even though the locals have a winning record against the Tri, they have encountered some problems of late and have lost an unprecedented four finals in recent years.

In 1999 they lost the FIFA Confederations Cup, also the 2012 Olympic Football Tournament in London, and two CONCACAF Gold Cups (1996 and 2003).

Brazil would do well not to take the North American country too lightly as new manager Miguel Herrera is completely focused on the task at hand and has reportedly banned any distractions from his players including alcohol, cigarettes, and sex.

However, Mexico made it to the 2014 World Cup by the teeth of their skin and needed a qualifier to earn their spot. Their performance of late has fans concerned, even thought they’re still expected to move on the the round of 16.

Croatia has had similar problems and struggled to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. They could prove problematic for Herrera’s men and the final match between the two on June 23 in Recife should be one entertaining game for the fans following Group A.

Prediction: Brazil and Mexico move on.

[Image via Bing]

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