France has been placed in group E after the FIFA World Cup 2014 draw this Friday. Les Bleus will face Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras and will be expected to advanced to the round of 16. Not seeded for this World Cup, this is one of the easiest draws France could have hoped for.
Out of the unseeded top teams, France is probably the luckiest. Les Bleus are in the easiest group of this world cup. Didier Deschamps‘ men will kick off their campaign against Honduras in Porto Alegre before playing Switzerland in Salvador de Bahia and Ecuador in Rio de Janeiro. If they qualify for the round of 16, the French will play against a team from group F (Argentina,Nigeria,Bosnia and Iran).
If they finish first and avoid Argentina, who should easily win its group, Les Bleus should be in the quarterfinals.
Switzerland will probably be France’s toughest opponent. The Swiss were unbeaten in their qualifying campaign, winning seven of 10 and finishing seven points ahead of Iceland. The winner of Switzerland-France will probably win the group and play the second team of group F, assuming that Argentina will finish first.
Ecuador finished fourth in the South American qualifiers behind Argentina, Colombia and Chile with seven wins, four draws and five defeats. Antonio Valencia‘s teammates will have a very difficult task against France and Switzerland but if they arrive in Brazil in good form, Reinaldo Rueda‘s men have a genuine chance to get past the group stage.
For Honduras, this draw isn’t as tough as it could have been, but it’s going to be very difficult for Luis Suarez‘s men to finish ahead of France and Switzerland. ”Los Catrachos”, third in the CONCACAF qualifiers behind the United States and Costa Rica, are the weakest team of this group on paper and will have to play their best football to have a chance to qualify for the round of 16.
Deschamps probably had a smile on his face after the draw. The French manager couldn’t have dreamed of a better one. On paper, his team is the strongest of the group and should make it past the first stage, but the beauty of football is that games are not won on paper.