World Cup 2014: Predicted Starting Lineups for Each Team in Brazil

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World Cup 2014: Predicted Starting Lineups for Each Team in Brazil
Clive Mason/Getty Images

You know the World Cup is just around the corner when you begin to seriously ponder what the starting line-ups might be for every team involved.

Each nation flying to Brazil will be going through their final preparations in training, tuning up their match sharpness in the warm-up games. But every player from every squad will be secretly battling to seal a place in the starting XI for their country’s first game of the tournament.

So with just a few days to go until the tournament kicks off in earnest, here’s a rundown of the projected starting line-ups for each of the 32 teams involved in what is set to be a gripping World Cup in Brazil.

Algeria Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Mohamed Zemmamouche
RB AIssa Mandi
CB Carl Medjani
CB Madjid Bougherra
LB Faouzi Ghoulam
RM Sofiane Feghouli
CM Medhi Lacen
CM Nabil Bentaleb
LM Yacine Brahimi
CAM Saphir Taïder
ST Islam Slimani

The Telegraph

Argentina Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Sergio Romero
RB Pablo Zabaleta
CB Federico Fernandez
CB Ezequiel Garay
LB Marcos Rojo
CDM Javier Mascherano
CM Fernando Gago
CM Angel Di Maria
CF Lionel Messi
ST Gonzalo Higuain
ST Sergio Aguero

The Telegraph

Australia Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Mathew Ryan
RB Ivan Franjic
CB Matthew Spiranovic
CB Ryan McGowan
LB Jason Davidson
CDM Mile Jedinak
CM Mark Bresciano
CM Mark Milligan
RM Ben Halloran
LM Tommy Oar
ST Tim Cahill

The Telegraph

Belgium Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Thibaut Courtois
RB Toby Alderweireld
CB Vincent Kompany
CB Daniel Van Buyten
LB Jan Vertonghen
CDM Axel Witsel
CM Steven Defour
CM Marouane Fellaini
RW Kevin Mirallas
LW Eden Hazard
ST Romelu Lukaku

The Telegraph

Bosnia & Herzegovina Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Asmir Begovic
RB Mensur Mujdza
CB Emir Spahic
CB Ermin Bicakcic
LB Sead Kolasinac
CDM Sejad Salihovic
CDM Muhamed Besic
RM Izet Hajrovic
LM Senad Lulic
CAM Miralem Pjanic
ST Edin Dzeko

The Telegraph

Brazil Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Julio Caesar
RB Dani Alves
CB Thiago Silva
CB David Luiz
LB Marcelo
CDM Luis Gustavo
CDM Paulinho
CAM Oscar
RW Hulk
LW Neymar
ST Fred

The Telegraph

Cameroon Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Charles Itandje
RB Aurelien Chedjou
CB Stephane Mbia
CB Nicolas Nkoulou
LB Benoit Assou-Ekotto
CDM Alex Song
CM Joel Matip
CM Jean Makoun
RW Benjamin Moukandjo
LW Pierre Webo
ST Samuel Eto'o

The Telegraph

Chile Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Claudio Bravo
CB Gonzalo Jara
CB Gary Medel
CB Jose Rojas
CDM Arturo Vidal
CDM Marcelo Diaz
RM Mauricio Isla
LM Jean Beausejour
RW Alexis Sanchez
LW Eduardo Vargas
ST Mauricio Pinilla

The Telegraph

Colombia Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK David Ospina
RB Camilo Zuniga
CB Cristian Zapata
CB Mario Yepes
LB Pablo Armero
CDM Abel Aguilar
CDM Fredy Guarin
RAM Juan Cuadrado
LAM James Rodriguez
ST Jackson Martinez
ST Adrian Ramos

The Telegraph

Costa Rica Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Keylor Navas
CB Johnny Acosta
CB Giancarlo Gonzalez
CB Michael Umana
RWB Christian Gamboa
CDM Celso Borges
CDM Yeltsin Tejeda
LWB Junior Diaz
CAM Bryan Ruiz
CAM Christian Bolanos
ST Joel Campbell

The Telegraph

Croatia Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Stipe Pletikosa
RB Darijo Srna
CB Vedran Corluka
CB Dejan Lovren
LB Danijel Pranjic
CM Luka Modric
CM Ivan Rakitic
RAM Ivan Perisic
CAM Mateo Kovacic
LAM Ivica Olic
ST Mario Mandzukic

The Telegraph

Ecuador Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Alexander Dominguez
RB Juan Paredes
CB Jorge Guagua
CB Frickson Erazo
LB Walter Ayovi
CDM Segundo Castillo
RM Antonio Valencia
CM Christian Noboa
CM Fidel Martinez
LM Jefferson Montero
ST Felipe Caicedo

The Telegraph

England Projected Starting 11
Player Position
GK Joe Hart
RB Glen Johnson
CB Gary Cahill
CB Phil Jagielka
LB Leighton Baines
CDM Steven Gerrard
CDM Jordan Henderson
RAM Adam Lallana
CAM Wayne Rooney
LAM Danny Welbeck
ST Daniel Sturridge

The Telegraph

France Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Hugo Lloris
RB Mathieu Debuchy
CB Raphael Varane
CB Mamadou Sakho
LB Lucas Digne
CDM Yohan Cabaye
CM Paul Pogba
CM Blaise Matuidi
RW Mathieu Valbuena
LW Franck Ribéry
ST Karim Benzema

The Telegraph

Germany Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Manuel Neuer
RB Philipp Lahm
CB Per Mertesacker
CB Mats Hummels
LB Erik Durm
CDM Bastian Schweinsteiger
CDM Sami Khedira
RAM Thomas Mueller
CAM Mesut Ozil
LAM Marco Reus
ST Miroslav Klose

The Telegraph

Ghana Projected Staring 11
Position Player
GK Adam Kwarasey
RB Samuel Inkoom
CB Rashid Sumalia
CB Jonathan Mensah
LB Daniel Opare
CDM Michael Essien
CDM Sulley Muntari
RM Andre Ayew
CM Kevin-Prince Boateng
LM Kwadwo Asamoah
ST Asamoah Gyan

The Telegraph

Greece Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Orestis Karnezis
RB Vasilis Torosidis
CB Sokratis Papastathopoulos
CB Kostas Manolas
LB Jose Holebas
CDM Alexandros Tziolis
CDM Giannis Maniatis
RM Dimitris Salpingidis
CM Giorgos Karagounis
LM Giorgos Samaras
ST Kostas Mitroglou

The Telegraph

Honduras Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Noel Valladares
RB Arnold Peralta
CB Osman Chavez
CB Victor Bernardez
LB Maynor Figueroa
RM Oscar Boniek Garcia
CM Wilson Palacios
CM Roger Espinoza
LM Emilio Izaguirre
ST Jerry Bengtson
ST Carlo Costly

The Telegraph

Iran Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Rahman Ahmadi
RB Pejman Montazeri
CB Steven Beitashour
CB Mohammad Khanzadeh
LB Hashem Beykzadeh
RM Khosrow Heidari
CM Andranik Teymourian
CM Javad Nekounam
LM Ehsan Hajsafi
CAM Ashkan Dejagah
ST Reza Ghoochannejhad

The Telegraph

Italy Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Gianluigi Buffon
RB Ignazio Abate
CB Leonardo Bonucci
CB Giorgio Chiellini
LB Mattia De Sciglio
CDM Andrea Pirlo
CM Marco Verratti
CM Daniele De Rossi
CAM Claudio Marchisio
ST Mario Balotelli
ST Antonio Cassano

The Telegraph

Ivory Coast Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Boubacar Barry
RB Serge Aurier
CB Kolo Toure
CB Souleyman Bamba
LB Arthur Boka
CDM Didier Zokora
CDM Cheick Tiote
CM Yaya Toure
RW Salomon Kalou
LW Gervinho
ST Didier Drogba

The Telegraph

Japan Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Eiji Kawashima
RB Atsuto Uchida
CB Maya Yoshida
CB Yasuyuki Konno
LB Yuto Nagatomo
CDM Yasuhito Endo
CDM Makoto Hasebe
RAM Keisuke Honda
CAM Shinji Kagawa
LAM Yoichiro Kakitani
ST Shinji Okazaki

The Telegraph

Mexico Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Guillermo Ochoa
CB Rafael Marquez
CB Francisco Rodriguez
CB Hector Moreno
RWB Miguel Layun
LWB Andres Guardado
CM Hector Herrera
CM Carlos Pena
CM Marco Fabian
CF Giovani dos Santos
ST Oribe Peralta

The Telegraph

Netherlands Projected Starting 11
Position Players
GK Michel Vorm
CB Stefan de Vrij
CB Ron Vlaar
CB Bruno Martins Indi
RWB Daryl Janmaat
LWB Daley Blind
CM Jordy Clasie
CM Jonathan de Guzman
CM Wesley Sneijder
ST Arjen Robben
ST Robin van Persie

The Telegraph

Nigeria Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Vincent Enyeama
RB Efe Ambrose
CB Godfrey Oboabona
CB Joseph Yobo
LB Elderson Echiejile
CDM Ogenyi Onazi
CDM John Obi Mikel
RM Victor Moses
CM Michael Babatunde
LM Ahmed Musa
ST Emmanuel Emenike

The Telegraph

Portugal Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Rui Patricio
RB Joao Pereira
CB Pepe
CB Bruno Alves
LB Fabio Coentrao
CDM William Carvalho
CM Joao Moutinho
CM Raul Meireles
RW Luis Nani
LW Cristiano Ronaldo
ST Helder Postiga

The Telegraph

Russia Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Igor Akinfeev
RB Andrey Eshchenko
CB Vasili Berezutskiy
CB Sergey Ignashevich
LB Dmitry Kombarov
CDM Igor Denisov
CM Roman Shirokov
CM Victor Faizulin
RAM Alan Dzagoev
LAM Alexander Kokorin
ST Alexander Kerzhakov

The Telegraph

South Korea Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Jung Sung-ryong
RB Kim Chang-soo
CB Kim Young-gwon
CB Kwak Tae-hwi
LB Yun Suk-young
RM Lee Chung-yong
CM Ki Sung-yueng
CM Park Jong-woo
LM Ji Dong-won
CAM Son Heung-min
ST Park Chu-young

The Telegraph

Spain Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Iker Casillas
RB Cesar Azpilicueta
CB Gerard Pique
CB Sergio Ramos
LB Jordi Alba
CDM Xabi Alonso
CDM Sergio Busquets
CM Xavi
RAM David Silva
LAM Andres Iniesta
CF Cesc Fabregas

The Telegraph

Switzerland Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Diego Benaglio
RB Stephan Lichtsteiner
CB Fabian Schaer
CB Steve von Bergen
LB Ricardo Rodriguez
CDM Gokhan Inler
CDM Valon Behrami
RAM Xherdan Shaqiri
CAM Granit Xhaka
LAM Valentin Stocker
ST Josip Drmic

The Telegraph

United States Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Tim Howard
RB Geoff Cameron
CB Matt Besler
CB John Brooks
LB Timmy Chandler
CDM Michael Bradley
RM Graham Zusi
LM Fabian Johnson
CAM Jermaine Jones
ST Jozy Altidore
ST Clint Dempsey

The Telegraph

Uruguay Projected Starting 11
Position Player
GK Fernando Muslera
RB Maximiliano Pereira
CB Diego Lugano
CB Diego Godin
LB Martin Caceres
RM Christian Stuani
CM Nicolas Lodeiro
CM Alvaro Rios
LM Cristian Rodriguez
ST Edinson Cavani
ST Luis Suarez

The Telegraph

 

Strongest XIs

The favourites for the competition are naturally the hosts, Brazil. When you take a look at their starting XI, it is easy to see why. There is so much experience, so much athleticism and so much quality in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team that it’s hard to see past a deep run in the tournament in front of their fervent supporters.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Brazil's defence will be vital to their chances.

Quite remarkably for a Brazil team, the main strength looks to be in the defensive areas. In Marcelo and Dani Alves, the Brazilian team have two of the most vibrant full-backs on the planet, while Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva is arguably the best centre-back in world football at the moment.

Further forward, the creative burden looks likely to fall primarily on the shoulders of Chelsea playmaker Oscar, whilst Neymar will be tasked with adding a little stardust to proceedings. Of the two prodigious aforementioned attacking talents, BBC’s South American expert Tim Vickery thinks it’s the former who will be most vital to Brazilian hopes:

The holders Spain also boast a stunning array of talent in their likely starting line-up. For Vincent del Bosque’s team, the major question is whether they will use an orthodox forward or a false nine.

Cesc Fabregas has been used as a centre-forward regularly by the Spain manager, but Diego Costa is set to make his major tournament bow for La Roja this summer. The Atletico Madrid man enjoyed a wonderful campaign with the Spanish champions, but he has been suffering with fitness concerns of late.

You can see why Del Bosque will be desperate to have Costa fit when you compare him to Spain's other forward options:

Argentina will be hoping to win their first World Cup in 28 years when they take to the field on their home continent. They too have a stellar first XI, with a formidable forward foursome of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria.

You suspect Alejandro Sabella’s team will play to their strengths and look to outscore the opposition in Brazil, and the wealth of firepower they have at their disposal far surpasses that of any team in the competition.

Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press
Argentina have the best forwards in the competition.

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Argentina have a nice balance in midfield too, with the legs of Fernando Gago and Javier Mascherano likely to provide an ample foil for the forwards. But the defence and goalkeeper can admittedly be gotten at. If someone like Messi does catch fire, however, the Albiceleste could be difficult to stop in Brazil.

Overall, the strongest first XI belongs to the holders, who will be going in search of their fourth consecutive major tournament win when they take to the field in South America.

But it’s not only the strength of their first team that makes this Spain outfit so formidable, it’s the riches they have in reserve, too. Del Bosque can call upon players like Pedro, Juan Mata, David Villa and Santi Cazorla if required, giving their bench just as intimidating an aura as the first team.

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Spain's strength in depth will see them triumph again.

Spain do have a difficult group—where they will be pitted against Chile, Netherlands and Australia—but some tough, yet winnable games there will see them battle-hardened for the latter stages of the tournament. Expect this wonderfully talented Spanish group to triumph in Brazil and in doing so, cement their legacy as the greatest international team of all time.  

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