With the draw for the FIFA World Cup 2014 taking place on Friday in Brazil, there will inevitably be a group of death. That said, what could be the most dangerous permutation of this group?
Before we take a look, it must be stated that there are many factors that determine the draw, such as a maximum of two European nations and one South American per group. Plus, one European nation will change their allocated pot at the last minute.
So, Pot 1 contains all eight of the seeded nations. Those nations are Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland and Brazil. A huge debate could determine which one of those sides you would least want to face, but for me it has to be between Brazil and Germany.
Spain had a poor start at the last World Cup, but Germany are the World Cup masters. Brazil would be one to avoid too with their home crowd, but nobody wants to face Germany in my opinion as they look incredible.
That leaves three places left in our group of death. With one European nation used up, only one more is allowed to be added. Pot 2 contains a mixture of South American and African nations. It is a tough call between Ghana, Ivory Coast or Chile, but the performances from Chile in recent months combined with Alexis Sanchez and being in their home continent means they are selected for my theoretical group of death.
With two places remaining, a North American, Asian or European nation can fill the gaps. Pot 3 contains a mixture of nations, but the USA look a little more dangerous than Mexico or South Korea. Having dominated the North American qualifying table and showing signs of confidence, the USA are the third nation in my group.
That leaves us with Pot 4. This is were it will get interesting on Friday, no matter who has already been selected. Pot 4 contains a raft of European nations who could have easily been seeded. Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia and France make up Pot 4, so it is a tight call as to just who you would least like to face.
Portugal have the almost unstoppable Cristiano Ronaldo, but other areas of their team are not quite up to scratch. The World Cup dreamers England are tough, but nothing too scary. The Italians and France have the potential to implode at any minute, so how can you argue with the Netherlands being the toughest nation in Pot 4?
Runners-up in South Africa 2010, they are likely to be making it towards the latter ends of the tournament.The Netherlands’ inclusion in Germany’s group would also mean another chapter in one of the biggest rivalries in soccer.
So that concludes this fantasy draw. The potential group of death could well be: Germany, Chile, USA and Netherlands. Switch your own nation with any of those, and you are on course for a tough yet threatening time. My alternative is Brazil, Ivory Coast, USA and Portugal. But either way, there is a good chance a competitive group will arise, and it will be very entertaining.
Notably, the easiest group could be deemed as: Switzerland, Algeria, Iran and Greece. That said, the good thing is that those types of groups end up being contested until the final minutes.