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09.06.2014 » World Cup Group E preview: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras

FIFA World Cup 2014 Group E wallpaper

France and Switzerland are clearly the favorites to go through in Group E, but they better not under-estimate both Ecuador and Honduras, who will be waiting in their shadow for an opportunity to surprise. In a group with two European sides, as well as a Central-American and a South American team, things will certainly heat up when the time for decisions comes.

It's hard to pick any other favorites in this group than France and Switzerland. The French team had their ups and downs on the road to the World Cup and even though they won't be able to count with Franck Ribery, they are still a force to be reckoned in this tournament. Switzerland on the other hand, had an almost immaculate qualifying campaign, having won 7 of their 10 games and not losing a single match. Ecuador and Honduras will have to be at their best in order to meddle between these two European sides and try to snatch them the top spots in this group. However, they sure won't have an easy task accomplishing that...

FIFA World Cup 2014 - Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras:

Switzerland

The Swiss are one of the most well organized sides coming into this World Cup. They were undefeated in the 10 games they've played in the European qualifiers, where they've easily imposed their mark against sides like Iceland, Slovenia and Norway. At the FIFA World Rankings, Switzerland shows up on a very prestigious 6th place, only behind powerhouse nations such as Brazil (1st), Germany (2nd), Spain (3rd), Portugal (4th) and Argentina (5th).

However and despite their extremely good ranking in FIFA, Switzerland's odds to win this World Cup suggest that they are far from being regarded as one the favorites. Betting on their success in this tournament is currently valued with a payoff factor of 101. They never won a major tournament before and this will be the 10th time they make a World Cup appearance.

On a curious note, it's interesting to point out that even though the Swiss are quite used to get into these stages of the World Cup (they even managed to reach the quarter-finals in 1934, 1938 and 1954), they've only qualified in 3 different occasions for past European Championships, on which they've never went beyond the first round.

Switzerland National Team coach:
Ottmar Hitzfeld

Switzerland 23-men squad list for the World Cup
Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio, Roman Buerki, Yann Sommer
Defenders: Johan Djourou, Michael Lang, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Ricardo Rodriguez, Fabian Schaer, Philippe Senderos, Steve von Bergen, Reto Ziegler
Midfielders: Tranquillo Barnetta, Valon Behrami, Blerim Dzemaili, Gelson Fernandes, Goekhan Inler, Xherdan Shaqiri, Valentin Stocker
Forwards: Josip Drmic, Mario Gavranovic, Admir Mehmedi, Haris Seferovic, Granit Xhaka

Probable line-up/starting eleven for the World Cup:
Switzerland XI: Benaglio; Lichtsteiner,  Steve von Bergen, Fabian Schar, Ricardo Rodriguez; Behrami, Inler, Mehmedi; Xhaka, Stocker, Drmic.

Switzerland - World Cup group matches:
-> June 15: Switzerland vs Ecuador
-> June 20: Switzerland vs France
-> June 25: Honduras vs Switzerland

Switzerland players celebrating a goal in the World Cup

 

Ecuador

Ecuador made the cut into this 2014 World Cup after finishing 4th in the CONMEBOL qualifiers and earning a direct entrance to the tournament. They closed their group stage ahead of Uruguay and forced their South American rivals to go into a 2-leg playoff with New Zealand.

They are regarded by FIFA as the 26th strongest national team in the World, but bookies don't believe that much in their chances of holding the trophy next July 13 in Rio de Janeiro, as they've been given odds of 126 to become the next World Champions. It's only Ecuador's 3rd World Cup appearance and even though arriving to this stage of the tournament may already seen a very good prize, they'll definitely be keen to try pulling off a surprise.

Ecuador's main star is beyond doubts the experienced Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia, who has had two quite poor straight seasons in England. Over the last two years, Valencia had 59 appearances in the English Premier League and only managed to score in 3 different occasions.

Ecuador National Team coach:
Reinaldo Rueda

Ecuador 23-men squad list for the World Cup
Goalkeepers: Maximo Banguera, Alexander Dominguez, Adrian Bone
Defenders: Frickson Erazo, Jorge Guagua, Oscar Bagui, Gabriel Achilier, Walter Ayovi, Juan Carlos Paredes
Midfielders: Segundo Castillo, Carlos Gruezo, Renato Ibarra, Cristian Noboa, Luis Saritama, Antonio Valencia, Edison Mendez, Fidel Martinez, Michael Arroyo
Forwards: Felipe Caicedo, Jefferson Montero, Joao Rojas, Jaime Ayovi, Enner Valencia

Probable line-up/starting eleven for the World Cup:
Ecuador XI: Banguera; Carlos Paredes, Guagua, Erazo, Walter Ayovi; Antonio Valencia, Noboa, Carlos Gruezo, Montero; Edwin Valencia, Caicedo.

Ecuador - World Cup group matches:
-> June 15: Switzerland vs Ecuador
-> June 20: Honduras vs Ecuador
-> June 25: Ecuador vs France

Ecuador players praying during a football game

 

France

France had a sort of an emotional roller coaster campaign to get into the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and it all started with the unfortune of being drawn into the same qualifying group as Spain, where they would end up finishing 2nd. Didier Deschamp's men were then forced to play a 2-leg playoff against Ukraine in last November and after being defeated by 2-0 in Kyiv, they came back in Saint-Denis with a miraculous 3-0 win.

"Les Bleus", a nickname for which the French National Team is usually known for, have only won the World Cup once (in 1998, when the tournament was hosted in their own country), but have already clinched two European Championship titles (1984, 2000). They are ranked 17th in the FIFA World Rankings latest update from June 5 and are seen as the 6th strongest team in this tournament according to many sports bookmakers who have priced them with odds of 23.

With Franck Ribery out of the World Cup, France not only lost their main star upfront, but also the player who had more capabilities to change the fate of a game all by himself. Nevertheless, they can still count with the very talented Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba and Real Madrid's main striker Karim Benzema. The French striker arrives to this World Cup particularly motivated, after having won the UEFA Champions League last May 24, in a final held in Lisbon.

France National Team coach:
Didier Deschamps

France 23-men squad list for the World Cup
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Stephane Ruffier, Mickael Landreau
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy, Lucas Digne, Patrice Evra, Laurent Koscielny, Eliaquim Mangala, Bacary Sagna, Mamadou Sakho, Raphael Varane
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi, Rio Mavuba, Paul Pogba, Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Valbuena, Remy Cabella, Morgan Schneiderlin
Forwards: Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Loic Remy

Probable line-up/starting eleven for the World Cup:
France XI: Joe Hart; Baines, Cahill, Jagielka, Luke Shaw; Milner, Steven Gerrard, Barkley, Wilshere; Wayne Rooney, Sturridge.

France - World Cup group matches:
-> June 15: France vs Honduras
-> June 20: Switzerland vs France
-> June 25: Ecuador vs France

French players celebrating the World Cup 2014 qualification

 

Honduras

Honduras might be one of the weakest teams in this World Cup, but the truth is that they've managed to finish ahead of Mexico in the CONCACAF qualifiers. They come ranked on the 33rd place at the FIFA World Rankings and this will be their 3rd participation in this major tournament.

Their odds to win the World Cup are set at a 1 to 2001 payoff factor, and only Costa Rica is currently paying a higher payoff than them (2501). They shouldn't stand many realistic chances of going through to the last-16 round, but they will surely count on the experience of several of their players who are playing in the English Premier League, in England. The likes of Figueroa from Hull City and Palacios from Stoke, are most probably this squad's best players.

Honduras National Team coach:
Luis Fernando Suárez

Honduras 23-men squad list for the World Cup
Goalkeepers: Noel Valladares, Donis Escober, Luis Lopez
Defenders: Brayan Beckeles, Emilio Izaguirre, Juan Carlos Garcia, Maynor Figueroa, Victor Bernardez, Osman Chavez, Juan Pablo Montes
Midfielders: Arnold Peralta, Luis Garrido, Roger Espinoza, Jorge Claros, Wilson Palacios, Oscar Garcia, Andy Najar, Mario Martinez, Marvin Chavez
Forwards: Jerry Bengtson, Jerry Palacios, Carlo Costly, Rony Martinez

Probable line-up/starting eleven for the World Cup:
Honduras XI: Valladares; Beckeles, Bernardez, Figueroa, Izaguirre; Garcia, Espinoza, Palacios, Najar, Bengston; Costly.

Honduras - World Cup group matches:
-> June 15: France vs Honduras
-> June 20: Honduras vs Ecuador
-> June 25: Honduras vs Switzerland

Honduras are the outsiders in the World Cup Group E

Cristiano Ronaldo's next game will be his last friendly before the World Cup kicks off, in a game between Portugal and Ireland, scheduled for June 10 of 2014, in New Jersey (United States). You can watch Juventus live stream, Portugal vs Ireland, Spain vs Netherlands, Brazil vs Croatia, and Chile vs Australia, all matches provided from our World Cup live streaming pages.

Portugal next game:
Portugal vs Ireland
kick-off time (10-06-2014):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 06:45
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 01:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 00:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-3: 20:45
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 19:45
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7 16:45
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 07:45

Sources: ronaldo7.net / foxsports.com / fifa.com

Switzerland home and away shirts for the FIFA World Cup 2014:
Switzerland jerseys kits in the World Cup 2014

Ecuador home and away shirts for the FIFA World Cup 2014:Ecuador jerseys kits in the World Cup 2014

France home and away shirts for the FIFA World Cup 2014:
France jerseys kits in the World Cup 2014

Honduras home and away shirts for the FIFA World Cup 2014:
Honduras jerseys kits in the World Cup 2014

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