9 World Cup Predictions For 2014
When it’s time for the World Cup, that means it’s time for reckless World Cup predictions as well. While there aren’t exactly a litany of scandals and talking point going into the tournament (at least none larger in the US than Landon Donavan’s absence), there’s still enough going on that we need prepare for the expected AND the unexpected. So here are nine predictions as to what we might expect from this year’s activities.
Please note that at no time did we say these were “good” predictions. They’re just regular predictions.
In case you and your therapist found a way to block out the name “vuvezela,” along with the maddening drone it produced, let us remind you: It was that godforsaken horn that turned every 2010 World Cup match into what sounded like a swarm of insects. Officials aren’t expecting those to take over this year’s game, but that’s only because the Caxirola was invented specifically for the Brazil cup. It’s a handheld grenade-looking device that produces only a fraction of the noise. So you’ll actually be able to listen to the audio broadcast as well.
9. The Caxirola Won’t Annoy Us Nearly as Much as the VuvezelaThis Ghanaian player, who most recently was playing in the UAE, has a blonde mohawk sometimes, promotes boxing matches, studies Gracie jiu-jitsu, and has recorded hip hop that has garnered awards in his home country. He is also one of the fiercest threats in the Group of Death. Couple that with the fact that he’s going to be playing the US, which means the media will be on him like white on rice, and you’ve got a spectacle in the making.
8. Asamoah Gyan Will Be Considered the “Most Interesting Man in the World”
England’s in something of a transitional year as a national team. They’ve got the old guard like Gerrard and Rooney, and they’ve got some exciting new blood that isn’t QUITE there yet in their career trajectories. So while it’s no surprise they made the cut, don’t expect this to be the year they break their dry spell. And if you’re wondering if they’ll suffer another meltdown like they did last year – maybe. We can’t predict the acts of the soccer Gods.
7. It Won’t Be England’s Year
Sure, the media is zeroing in on the fact that the stadiums STILL aren’t ready, and some of these big new shiny monuments might not even be finished to host ANY of their respective games, but the media loves saying things like that. But when Pele, perhaps Brazil’s biggest football ambassador, comes out and says the preparation is an embarrassment, it’s probably time to listen. The good news is that it doesn’t sound like security will be a huge issue (though it is Brazil, so who knows) but rather, just a lack of infrastructure. I’m sure it will become clear soon enough.
6. Brazil’s Hosting Will Be Seen as a Debacle
In the "Group of Death," Portugal is sitting pretty, predicted to take the second spot. However, the parity between 1,2,3 is enough that the ability to get 4 points will probably hinge on who might be resting their players after already having qualified. But with that big question mark having so much gravity, teams will need all the certainty they can get elsewhere. So Ronaldo’s health (he’s got tendinosis) is a big question in the days leading up to kickoff. Germany and the US could both knock out Portugal, and nothing is certain even with Ronaldo, but things look a LOT rosier with him in the picture from day one.
5. Portugal’s Fate Will Hinge on Cristiano Renaldo’s Health
While it’s always a crapshoot to try to predict an individual’s performance, especially when you’re claiming that it will be the best offensive performance in the tourney, picking the best guy on the best team makes a certain amount of sense. And Neymar is that guy. (Late clarification: The Golden Boot is awarded to the player who scores the most goals.) Sure, it also makes sense to pick a player on a successful team because a) he’ll have better help in scoring those goals, and b) better teams advance farther, and more games means more goals.
4. Neymar Will Be Awarded The Golden Boot
The first half of this prediction isn’t a huge gamble, the second one is. Over the course of three games, they might be able to squeeze a few goals out. Even in this level of competition the adage “even a broken clock is right twice a day” can ring true. And Iran is certainly that broken clock.
3. Iran Won’t Win a Game and Won’t Score a Goal
This is probably the biggest limb we’ll climb out on in these predictions. The US isn’t EXPECTED to make it out, but, as mentioned above with Portugal, the strength in this group could, to some degree, cancel out the logical threats, and leave the door open for a walk. Even though fans of the US are hearing about this “group of death,” bear in mind that one of the reasons it’s being called that is due to America’s inclusion in the group.
2. The United States Will Advance Past Their “Group of Death”
This isn’t much of a risk, here. Brazil is considered a perennial favorite, and this year, along with Germany, they’re rocking one of the most deadly squads in the Cup. We’ve already predicted their player to lead the World Cup in scoring, so even though homefield advantage isn’t THAT dramatic or important in the Cup, the expectation is that these guys will take it. Which is good news for the hosting country, but bad news for people who like surprises. Oh well. None of us will throw fits if the best country in the world wins the Cup.