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Group A is, in my opinion, is definitely a step up from Group B in terms of overall quality. The group is comprised of Brazil, Japan, Mexico and Italy.
Expectations are very high for Brazil at the moment. Fans of Brazil, who have won more World Cup titles than any other country, will be placing immense pressure on them to win the competition in next summer's spectacle.
Since a disappointing 2010 World Cup, in which it failed to reach the semifinals, Brazil's current team, while full of great individual talents, has not impressed as a unit and has fallen from No. 1 to No. 22 in the FIFA World Rankings in the past 3 years.
Recent results have not been great for the Brazilians, and while there's no denying the talent of the likes of Neymar and Ganso, people are questioning if this group can get it done when it matters.
Japan defeated newcomers to the AFC, Australia, in the 2011 Asian Cup to reach this tournament. The Japanese usually fare well in tournaments, and star attacking midfielder Keisuke Honda will need to bag a few goals if Japan want to go far in this tournament.
After winning the 2012 Olympics, a "golden generation" of young Mexican talent was being touted. Many thought this could be the next great international side. However, talent hasn't equalled results.
As a North American, I've been able to watch most of Mexico's games qualifying in the Hexagonal phase. They've looked totally out of ideas offensively, and the only bright spot has been the stellar play of goalkeeper Jesus Corona.
Just two years after getting into an altercation in a Dublin nightclub, the keeper has singlehandedly saved Mexico several points so far during qualifying. Things have gotten so bad for the team, that after their 3rd consecutive 0-0 draw at Azteca, the fans were chanting for the head coach to be fired.
This team desperately needs to do well at this tournament.
Italy round out the group, and they're not too shabby in terms of footballing history.
The Italians have a good combination of young players like Mario Balotelli and veterans such as Buffon and Chiellini. They've done very well in World Cup qualifying, easily leading their group, and should be very difficult to break down tactically. Because Spain won both the World Cup and Euro 2012, they were chosen as Europe's representative because they finished runner-up in last year's Euros.
The Verdict: A solid Italian side tops the group while Brazil's skillful players do just enough to get through to the semifinals. The Japanese finish third and Mexican woes continue as they end in the cellar.