WORLD CUP 2014: Group E confirmed runners, riders & predictions

In our analysis of some of the biggest competing countries in this summer’s world cup, we have focused mainly on those in the top 10 of the current FIFA World rankings. However as we are now less than 24 hours away from the start of the biggest tournament in world football, treat this as your full list and reference point for the 23 man squads for every single country playing in this summer’s competition. Alongside the squad listing, @93elby will also be posting his star man, his hot prospect, his dark horse and where he thinks each team will finish this summer.

So what does Group E have in stall for us?



Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), Roman Buerki (Grasshopper), Yann Sommer (Basel).

Defenders: Johan Djourou (Hamburg), Michael Lang (Grasshopper), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Fabian Schaer (Basel), Philippe Senderos (Valencia), Steve von Bergen (Young Boys), Reto Ziegler (Sassuolo).

Midfielders: Tranquillo Barnetta (Eintracht Frankfurt), Valon Behrami (Napoli), Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli), Gelson Fernandes (Freiburg), Gokhan Inler (Napoli), Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich), Valentin Stocker (Basel).

Forwards: Josip Drmic (Nuremberg), Mario Gavranovic (Zurich), Admir Mehmedi (Freiburg), Haris Seferovic (Real Sociedad), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach)

STAR MAN: Gokhan Inler
The heart and soul of the Swiss defence, Inler not only keeps things steady in the centre of the park but his bursts forward through the centre have led to some memorable goals from distance. A born leader, and thus my star man.

HOT PROSPECT: Ricardo Rodriguez
With a name you’d expect to hear in maybe one of the South American squad lists, Rodriguez impressed for Wolfsburg and certainly mirrored the quality we’re so used to seeing from the likes of Brazil and Argentina. A massive contender for young player of the tournament for me, should Switzerland qualify and progress.

DARK HORSE: Josip Drmic
A fantastic season in Nuremberg has propelled Drmic to one the key figures in the Swiss side this summer. Should he be able to replicate his form in the German Bundesliga, Switzerland shouldn’t struggle for goals and should qualify from a relatively easy group with ease.



Goalkeepers: Maximo Banguera (Barcelona SC), Alexander Dominguez (LDU Quito), Adrian Bone (El Nacional).

Defenders: Frickson Erazo (Flamengo), Jorge Guagua, Oscar Bagui, Gabriel Achilier (all Emelec), Walter Ayovi (Pachuca), Juan Carlos Paredes (Barcelona SC).

Midfielders: Oswaldo Minda (Chivas USA), Carlos Gruezo (Stuttgart), Renato Ibarra (Vitesse Arnhem), Cristian Noboa (Dynamo Moscow), Luis Saritama (Barcelona SC), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Edison Mendez (Independiente Santa Fe), Fidel Martinez (Tijuana), Michael Arroyo (Atlante).

Forwards: Felipe Caicedo (Al-Jazira), Jefferson Montero (Morelia), Joao Rojas (Cruz Azul), Jaime Ayovi (Tijuana), Enner Valencia (Pachuca).

STAR MAN: Antonio Valencia
The heartbeat of the national side after a glittering career in the Premier League. Fallen out of favour in recent months with both Moyes and Giggs when managing Manchester United, but in terms of quality there is no denying Valencia is head and shoulders above several of his fellow compatriots.

HOT PROSPECT: Cristian Noboa
With both an eye for goal and a creativity spotting the killer passes which help calve teams apart, Noboa is the most exciting and promising player Ecuador have and at a young age, he is definitely considered a hot prospect in the grand scheme of world football.

DARK HORSE: Felipe Caicedo
Although glimmers of quality in both the Premier League and Liga BBVA have allowed him to maintain his place in the national side, his recent move away has severely reduced his game time and also the quality of opposition he’ll be up against. However if he manages to recapture the Felipe Caicedo form of old, he really will fill the enormous void left by the death of Chucho Benitez.



Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Stephane Ruffier (Marseille), Mickael Landreau (Bastia).

Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), Lucas Digne (Paris St-Germain) Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny, Bacary Sagna (both Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi (both Paris St-Germain), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Remy Cabella (Montpellier), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Loic Remy (Newastle, on loan from QPR)

STAR MAN: Karim Benzema
A key part of the infamous BBC trio with both Bale and Ronaldo, Benzema (although it has taken him time) has blossomed into the player who was always destined to become following high goalscoring seasons with Lyon in Ligue 1. His goals should send France comfortably to the next round, if not further.

The former Man United midfield all rounder given the right opportunity will thrive on the atmosphere and the group France find themselves in and his impact on the world cup could yet be unprecedented…

DARK HORSE: Mathieu Valbuena
Applying his trade in league football for a side who are no longer considered a favourite for the title in the French Ligue 1, Valbuena will be even more influential following the injury of Franck Ribery. And priced very cheaply on several online fantasy football games, Valbuena could perhaps be the surprise package of the 2014 world cup.



Goalkeepers: Noel Valladares, Donis Escober (both Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real Espana).

Defenders: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan), Maynor Figueroa (Hull), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Osman Chavez (Qingdao Janoon), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua).

Midfielders: Edder Delgado (Real Espana), Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Jorge Claros (Motagua), Wilson Palacios (Stoke), Oscar Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Andy Najar (Anderlecht), Mario Martinez (Real Espana), Marvin Chavez (Chivas USA).

Forwards: Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense), Carlo Costly (Real Espana), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad).

STAR MAN: Maynor Figueroa
The strong yet pacy Hull defender helped Hull on their way to reaching Arsenal in the FA Cup final and in a relatively inexperienced and somewhat less talented squad,  the presence of Figueroa alone is enough to help the rest of the squad on their way.

The young Anderlecht midfielder offers Honduras another quick and wide option whose influence may solely prove to be as a substitute off the bench. Regardless, should Najar be given an opportunity to play at the highest level of World football, his talent will be on show for all to see…

DARK HORSE: Roger Espinoza
Known very well for his tenacious attitude and bull-dog like spirit, Espinoza will be looking to lead from the back in the sweeper role in which he plays as so often for Wigan and apply this to his international game against Group E competitors who Honduras fans may believe they can get a result from.



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