Why France will not win Group E

The World Cup kicks off on Thursday and we have four more groups to look at having already covered Group A, a shock in Group B, Group C and England's fate in Group D.

Why France will not win Group E


Time to take a look at Group E where the winners will play the runners-up from Group F and the runners-up will play the winners from Group F which comprise Argentina, Bosnia, Nigeria and Iran. Suffice to say this is not the group to come second in.


Group E

The teams in Group E are France, Ecuador, Switzerland and Honduras, two of which England have just played and been unable to beat in friendlies in Miami USA.

The group kicks-off on Sunday 15th June with Switzerland against Ecuador followed by France against Honduras. The second round of matches is on Friday 20th when Switzerland play France and Honduras play Ecuador. The group finishes on Wednesday 25th June with Honduras against Switzerland and Ecuador against France.

France

France are the group favourites and are historically an unpredictable nation. A bit like Holland they excel in in-fight within the squad to scupper any chances. Sami Nasri was left out of the squad amid reports that Tottenham stopper and French captain Hugo Lloris had a word with manager Didier Deschamps to suggest not including his disruptive influence in the squad.

When they keep a lid on things they can be a quality side but they can also throw in bad performances such as their playoff 1st leg to get to the World Cup which they lost 2-0 to Ukraine. The second led saw them win 3-0 to turn the tie around.

France could easily top this group but with any infighting or a bad day at the office they could be seeing themselves playing Argentina in the next round. I'm expecting the group game against Switzerland to decide their fate.

They have lost Franck Ribery to injury in the warm up games but still have the like of Tottenham targets Karim Benzema and Loic Remy to call upon.

Switzerland

Switzerland had one of the easiest qualification groups to get here, Iceland, Slovenia, Norway, Albania and Cyprus. As you would expect they didn't lose a game, winning seven and drawing three. That aided their World Cup chances because their FIFA ranking lowered greatly as a result and that put them into Pot 1 thus avoiding the big teams. France were in Pot 2.

Many will see France and Switzerland as the big two here and dismiss the chances of the South Americans, the bookies certainly think so but the Swiss usually find a way to not qualify and I expect that will happen again.

Tottenham fans may want to run the rule over 22 year-old centre-back transfer target Fabian Schär.

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Ecuador

Ecuador showed against England they are no mugs and can carve out chances and the location of some of these group games will be a big advantage to them. In qualifying they play at Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa, Quito 2,782 metres (9,127 ft) above sea level. They didn't lose a game, away from home they didn't win one. Brazil and Argentina have both been beaten twice here in qualifying tournaments so altitude certainly helps their chances.

The South Americans have their first two group games at Estadio Nacional, Brasilia, an altitude of 1,172m (3,845ft) and Estadio Da Baixada, Curitiba an altitude of 920m (3,018 ft). 

These are the two highest venues in the tournament so clearly Ecuador have been given every opportunity to progress. If they win the group they will play the next knock-out round at Brasilia again and almost certainly avoid Argentina. 

They finished 4th in CONMEBOL qualifying ahead of Uruguay on goal difference. A deeper look at qualifying saw them only concede 3 goals in 8 games at altitude while scoring 15. 

In 8 away games they only scored 5 and conceded 13 so how many goals they score in the first two altitude group games may leave them only needing a draw in the final game with France to top the group.

Honduras

Honduras will play like Greece to secure 1-0 victories. It's an understandable approach for the central Americans as they don't have the talent other nations possess with a population of under 9 million. This is their second consecutive World Cup, an achievement in itself.

Wilson Palacios will be known to Spurs fans after his time at the club from 2009 until 2011 and we saw one of his brothers come on as a substitute in Miami. The tough physical approach that surprised England there will not be enough to save them from elimination at the group stages and I'm expecting them to be returning home possibly without having scored a goal.

Group E Final Standings
1. Ecuador
2. France
3. Switzerland
4. Honduras




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