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World Cup Draw 2014 Results: Breaking Down Difficulty of Every Group

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World Cup Draw 2014 Results: Breaking Down Difficulty of Every Group
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Results of the 2014 World Cup draw have some juggernauts celebrating their inevitable advancement to the round of 16 while others are wondering how they landed in a division with so many juggernauts.

Here is a breakdown of the difficulty of every single group.

 

Group-Play Grid

Bleacher Report

 

 

Knockout-Round Bracket

Bleacher Report

 

 

 

Group A Breakdown
National Team FIFA Ranking
Brazil 10
Croatia 16
Mexico 20
Cameroon 51

FIFA

Brazil has some stiff group-play competition as it aims to defend its home turf but not stiff enough to warrant anything less than a 1A seed in the knockout bracket. While FIFA ranks three Group A clubs in the world's Top 20, that's the case with five out of the eight groups.

The Brazilians are coming off a Confederations Cup title from this summer. In the tournament, Neymar caught fire, recording four goals and two assists over five matches. Darijo Srna and Croatia as well as Javier Hernandez and Mexico will give Brazil a run for its money, but neither will have enough firepower to shock the five-time World Cup champions with an elimination.

This group as a whole isn't anything special.

 

 

Group B Breakdown
National Team FIFA Ranking
Spain 1
Netherlands 9
Chile 15
Australia 59

FIFA

Group B isn't special from top to bottom eitheronly because its worst team, Australia, is actually the worst team in the 2014 World Cup.

Spain has its whole No. 1-club-in-the-world thing going for it. It's also one of only three groups with two teams rated in FIFA's Top 10 and three in its Top 15. So, despite its inclusion of Australia, this is one of the most stacked divisions.

The Spanish are the defending World Cup champs and should be favored to compete to repeat. They're still stacked with stars Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and more. The 2B seed is up for grabs, though. Chile arguably has more depth, but the Netherlands have Robin van Persie.

 

 

Group C Breakdown
National Team FIFA Ranking
Colombia 4
Greece 12
Coto d'Ivoire 17
Japan 48

FIFA

Group C is in between Group A and B in difficulty.

Colombia has advanced past the group stage of the World Cup just once, and te d’Ivoire has never pulled it off. However, the former enters as a serious contender to fight its way into the semifinals, while the latter should compete with Greece for the C2 seed.

Unlike Group B, Group C only has one team which seems capable of advancing past the round of 16, Colombia. But Group A only has one, too, and its underdogs pack less bite than Greece and te d’Ivoire.

 

 

Group D Breakdown
National Team FIFA Ranking
Uruguay 6
Italy 7
England 13
Coasta Rica 31

FIFA

This division wanted to call itself the "Group of Death" until the World Cup announced the draw for Group G.

England would be the second-highest ranked team in half of the groups, but in Group C, its an underdog to Uruguay and Italy to advance. The three former world champions easily make up the second-most difficult group in the World Cup. Even Costa Rica is the second-highest ranked group bottom-dweller.

2006 World Cup champion Gianluigi Buffon's Italy and Luis Suarez's Uruguay will be heavily favored to advance, but as they compete for the D1 seed, Wayne Rooney and England can't be counted out as a potential D2.

 

 

Group E
National Team FIFA Ranking
Switzerland 8
France 19
Ecuador 23
Honduras 41

FIFA

This is the least talented group yet.

Switzerland has more than enough firepower to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals, but no club in the division can say the same. France will be just eight years removed from a title berth, but Karim Benzema and company will need a miracle to even get halfway there in 2014.

Antonio Valencia and Ecuador aren't irrelevant, but few are pegging it as a threat to shock the Swiss. It, unlike Honduras, will compete for the E2 seed, but expecting anything past the round of 16 is far-fetched.

 

 

Group F
National Team FIFA Ranking
Argentina 3
Bosnia-Herzegovina 21
Nigeria 36
Iran 45

FIFA

Lionel Messi could hold a clipboard through the group stage, and Argentina would still coast to the knockout bracket. That's how overwhelming its edge is on the rest of its division.

Group F is one of just two divisions without a pair of FIFA Top 20 clubs. Its also the only group with two teams ranked outside of the FIFA Top 35.

If a Cinderella were to emerge, it would likely come from Group F. It isn't that Nigeria or Iran are anything out of the ordinary, but Bosnia-Herzgovina is no lock for the F2 seed.

 

 

Group G
National Team FIFA Ranking
Germany 2
Portugal 5
USA 14
Ghana 24

FIFA

It's justifiably earned the label Group of Death.

Group G is the only division with two clubs ranked in FIFA's Top Five, while half of the World Cup groups don't have one. Team USA is also the second-highest rated "third team" in the tournament, while Ghana is the highest-rated "fourth team" by far.

This star-studded group will be the most entertaining to watch, but clubs like Team USA and Ghana will suffer the result of an overly stacked division. Team USA would be a favorite to advance elsewhere, and Ghana could've been a sleeper favorite but not in a group with Manuel Neuer and Cristiano Ronaldo.

 

 

Group H
National Team FIFA Ranking
Belgium 11
Russia 22
Algeria 26
Korea Republic 54

FIFA

The ease of Group H will make Team USA fans red in the face.

Belgium will be a heavy favorite to advance to the round of 16 as a No. 1 seed. This is the only division that such would be the case with a club rated No. 11 by FIFA. Group H is another in which a Cinderella could emerge because there's no team qualified to run away with the second seed.

Eden Hazard and Belgium should run away with the group, nearly Argentine-like. But between Russia and Algeria, there may not be a tighter race for the second seed.

 

David Daniels is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.

Follow @TheRealDDaniels

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