Football World Cup (I) – Groups A and B

World cup trophy IA friend asked for information about the world cup because she’s going to work with a business that plans to use the World Cup in their social media strategy. But I feel they don’t have much idea of the World Cup or Football (not everyone is a big fan like me!) Therefore I decided to make public my thoughts about it and give some useful information that you might use in your social media! This includes important games and their dates, players to follow and the odds for one team or another to go through their respective groups.

As you might know the World Cup will take place in Brazil this year, starting on Thursday 12th June. As always, the team from the host country will inaugurate the tournament. In this case the first game will be Brazil Vs Croatia.
This fact contains already a funny data as long as the tournament was supposed to start on 13th Friday. But in some cultures, as Brazil one, Fridays which date is the 13th are considered bad luck days. Therefore they decided to advance one day the inauguration.

Now let’s focus on the groups already:

Group A (Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon)

Teams’ overview and key players

Brazil: They are the favorite team to win this year’s world cup. They won the Confederation’s Cup against Spain in the final, in which they were far superior to the Spaniards, the current World Cup winners. They have so many awesome players that is hard to tell which one could be the star. But everyone agrees that the young Neymar Jr. is probably going to be the key player.

Croatia: They are actually a great team. They have a great keeper, Pletikosa, and a really good midfield thanks to Rakitic and Luka Modric. On the offense they have Mandzukic. In my opinion is hard to decide between Modric and Mandzukic. But if I had to decide I would say that Croatia totally needs Modric playing well.

Mexico: An irregular team that anyway can surprise anyone. Their key player is Javier Hernández (named Chicharito), an incredible center forward. He’s not playing much in the regular season in the English Premier League but he’s the best choice for Mexico. Carlos Vela is in a great momentum, probably better than Hernandez’s, but he refuses to play for his national team.

Cameroon: The weakest team in the group, but they can still steal some points to the other members if they’re not careful. They have great players like the defensive M’bia, midfielder Song or center forward Eto’o. The key player will totally be Eto’o and his ability to score in any situation.

Interesting game

One important game is obviously the inauguration one: Brazil – Croatia (12th June 2014). The first game of a world cup is always special as it’s played by the team which hosts the tournament. But is also the most interesting game of the group as it will might decide which position they will be at the end. Is an important game for Brazil as well as they need to prove to their audience that they are completely serious about winning this year World Cup.

What the Odds say

Everyone agrees that Brazil will go through and reach the knock-out stage. Now, there is a bit of different opinions on which team will accompany them: Croatia or Mexico. Let’s see how bookmakers are in this moment:
Group table with odds.

As you can see, Brazil going through is not paid well at all because it’s quite normal if they do. Cameroon will probably get eliminated, even though they can still have a chance if they win Mexico in their first game. Anyway, my prediction is that Brazil and Mexico will be the ones staying alive. I think Croatia has a great team but Mexico has more quality. It all depends on how Mexico plays as they can be really random sometimes!

Group B (Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia)

Teams’ overview and key players

Spain: The current World Cup’s winners. They are one of the 5 favorite teams to win the World Cup as they have been playing great during more or less 6 years (since they won the European Football Cup in 2008). They had a hard time losing against Brazil in 2013 Confederation’s Cup final but Spain is always a team that can win everything. It’s almost impossible to select just one player as what makes Spain a scary rival is that they play as a whole. Anyway I would say that this year’s key player is going to be the center forward Diego Costa, a new Spanish player that made his debut a month ago in a friendly game.

Netherlands: The runners-up in the previous tournament. They got beaten by Spain 1-0 on the extra time. This year they are still a World Cup’s winner candidate as their whole team is amazing. As a key player I would mention Robben, the one player that can cause chaos amongst the rival defenders.

Chile: A really young team with a lot to offer. Spain and Netherlands have to be really careful with this team because they can win anyone. Group B is one of the most dangerous ones as these three teams can take points from each other at any time. Their key player could be either midfielder Arturo Vidal or center Forward Eduardo Vargas. I would say Arturo Vidal will be the one that will decide how far Chile can go.

Australia: The unlucky ones. They probably have no chance against any of the 3 teams above. But it’s a World Cup, and even a tie can be catastrophic for one of them. Their key player is Tim Cahill, an already old player playing as an offensive midfielder that still can score easily.

Interesting game

One of the most attractive games of the group stage will be in this group. On Friday 13th, Spain and Netherlands will play their first game against each other. This game was the final of the previous World Cup, so it will probably be a beautiful show. Who will win is really, really hard to say. And also it can decide who will be in first position in the group stage. This is actually really important, because Brazil will probably be first in their group. This means that the team in second position in the Group B will probably play against Brazil on the Round of 16. And that is something that nobody wants.

What the odds say

Spain and Netherlands should go through (Though first and second position are highly uncertain), but we shouldn’t ignore Chile at all.

Group B table with odds.Even though you might see a bit difference between Netherlands and Chile, I really want to stress that Chile can be really problematic. Anyway I predict that Spain and Netherlands will go through. Australia highly unlikely will go through.

That’s all for now, in few days you guys will have the analysis for groups C and D so you can use the information as you wish.

One thing I want to say though: Social media is like a relationship. You not only need to take care of it on great events (Valentine’s Day, Anniversaries and so on), but whole year through. Is useless if you don’t pay attention to your social media strategy and suddenly you want to use the World Cup. So start planning a good overall strategy TODAY. Include World cup if you want, BUT the most important is being consistent every day and patient.

And last thing, if you have any comment about the information I gave don’t doubt to write it on comments or Tweet me about it. I’m a huge football fan and I love conversations about it! Also check this post with information about groups C and D!

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