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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Group H - 2014 FIFA World Cup™

Coach: Marc Wilmots

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, on loan from Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Sammy Bossut (Zulte Waregem).
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Atlético Madrid), Laurent Ciman (Standard Liege), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit), Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich), Anthony Vanden Borre (Anderlecht), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham).
Midfielders: Nacer Chadli (Tottenham), Steven Defour (Porto), Moussa Dembélé (Tottenham), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Axel Witsel (Zenit).
Forwards: Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Kevin Mirallas (Everton), Divock Origi (Lille).

Wed      14/08/13             FRI         Belgium               0 - 0       France 
Fri           06/09/13             WQE      Scotland             0 - 2       Belgium              
Fri           11/10/13             WQE      Croatia               1 - 2       Belgium              
Tue        15/10/13             WQE      Belgium               1 - 1       Wales  
Thu        14/11/13             FRI         Belgium               0 - 2       Colombia
Tue        19/11/13             FRI         Belgium               2 - 3       Japan   
Wed      05/03/14             FRI         Belgium                2 - 2       Côte d'Ivoire
Mon      26/05/14             FRI         Belgium                5 - 1       Luxembourg     
Sun        01/06/14             FRI         Sweden                0 - 2       Belgium              
Sat         07/06/14             FRI         Belgium               1 - 0       Tunisia

Nickname(s)     de Rode Duivels
les Diables Rouges
die Roten Teufel
(the Red Devils)
Association        Royal Belgian Football Association (KBVB/URBSFA/KBFV)[A]
Confederation                 UEFA (Europe)
Head Coach       Marc Wilmots                             

Belgian Coach of the Year: 2013[19]
Asst Coach         Vital Borkelmans
Captain                Vincent Kompany
Most Caps          Jan Ceulemans (96)
Top Scorer          Bernard Voorhoof (30)
Paul Van Himst (30)
Home stadium King Baudouin Stadium
FIFA code           BEL
FIFA ranking      11  Increase 1
Highest FIFA ranking     5 (October 2013)
Lowest FIFA ranking      71 (June 2007)

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)

Strengths – The expected surprise of the tournament trying to revive the Enzo Scifo times (even Wilmots) and going for a better place than in the 80s (4th). It is an all-Around national team that ticks all the boxes on an excellence level. Goalkeeper, check, Defensive line, check, midfielders, Check, Attacking line, check. Thrilling side that will bring some of the most entertaining football and can beat all odds as they can challenge for the world title. Courtois, Kompany, Witsel, Hazard,
Weaknesses – They will be highly pressured if they cannot easily beat Algeria. They have world class players, but on international level, experience is not an asset they possess. So, playing impulsively might expose the exciting nation. Van Buyten, Fellaini.
Opportunities – They have to play inside of this group as if they are in the knockout stage otherwise they run serious risks of crashing out early due to the low levels of matureness. De Bruyne, Lukaku, Vertonghen.
Threats – Ghilas or Slimani in the first match playing on the counter as it is common sense that Belgium will be on top of Algeria. Russia plays amazing football Coached the way Capello won the most important football titles. South Korea is always a contender due to their resilience and creativity.


Coach: Vahid Hililhodzic 
Goalkeepers: Mohamed Zemmamouche (USM Alger), Rais Mbolhi (CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria), Cedric Si Mohamed (CS Constantine).
Defenders : Carl Medjani (Valenciennes), Aissa Mandi (Reims), Madjid Bougherra (Lekhwiya), Faouzi Ghoulam (Naples), Rafik Halliche (Academica Coimbra), Essaid Belkalem (Watford), Liassine Cadamuro (Majorque), Djamel Mesbah (Livourne), Mehdi Mostefa (AC Ajaccio).
Midfielders : Sofiane Feghouli (Valence), Saphir Taider (Inter Milan), Medhi Lacen (Getafe), Abdelmoumen Djabou (Club Africain), Yacine Brahimi (Grenade), Hassan Yebda (Udinese), Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester).
Forwards: Islam Slimani (Sporting Portugal), Hilal Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb), Nabil Ghilas (FC Porto).

Sun      02/06/13          FRI     Algeria            2 - 0     Burkina Faso
Sun      09/06/13          WQA  Benin              1 - 3     Algeria
Sun      16/06/13          WQA  Rwanda           0 - 1     Algeria
Wed    14/08/13          FRI     Algeria             2 - 2     Guinea             
Tue      10/09/13          WQA Algeria             1 - 0     Mali      
Sat       12/10/13          WQA Burkina Faso    3 - 2     Algeria 
Tue      19/11/13          WQA Algeria             1 - 0     Burkina Faso
Wed    05/03/14          FRI     Algeria             2 - 0     Slovenia         
Sat       31/05/14          FRI     Algeria            3 - 1     Armenia         
Wed    04/06/14          FRI     Algeria             2 - 1     Romania

Nickname(s)     الأفناك (Fennec Foxes)
الخُضر (The Greens)
"مقاتلين الصحرااء" (The Desert Warriors)
Confederation           CAF (Africa)
Head Coach   Vahid Halilhodžić                       

Paris-Saint Germain
Coupe de France: 2004
Raja Casablanca
CAF Champions League: 1997
Captain          Madjid Bougherra
Most Caps     Lakhdar Belloumi (101)
Top Scorer    Abdelhafid Tasfaout (35)
Home stadium            Stade 5 Juillet 1962
FIFA code     ALG
FIFA ranking           22 Increase +3
Highest FIFA ranking          19 (November 2012-December 2012)
Lowest FIFA ranking          103 (June 2008)

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)

Strengths – Solidarity and compactness in defensive duties as well as a quick and powerful counter-attack. Work rate is of the highest level within the squad. Slimani, Feghouli, Soudani, Yebda, Taider.
Weaknesses – They play defensive football almost the 90 minutes which exposes them to Threats from opposition when they are unable to maintain possession. This hurts them deep in the essence.
Opportunities – We are hoping to see more of the same that has been performed in the previous World Cup. Playing not to lose at all times. Ghilas, Bentaleb.
Threats – They are threatened from all sides. Beating any of Belgium, Russia or South Korea would be the greatest of results and one of the biggest surprises as well. But in football anything can happen and that is what makes football beautiful. Go Algeria!


Coach: Fabio Capello
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Yury Lodygin (Zenit St Petersburg), Sergey Ryzhikov (Rubin Kazan).
Defenders: Vasili Berezutskiy (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow), Andrey Eshchenko (Anzhi Makhachkala), Sergey Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Alexey Kozlov (Dynamo Moscow), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Andrey Semenov (Terek Grozny), Georgi Schennikov (CSKA Moscow).
Midfielders: Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow), Igor Denisov (Dynamo Moscow), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Yury Zhirkov (Dynamo Moscow), Alexey Ionov (Dynamo Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Victor Faizulin (Zenit St Petersburg), Oleg Shatov (Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Shirokov (Krasnodar).
Forwards: Maxim Kanunnikov (Amkar Perm), Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit St Petersburg), Alexander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow).

Fri           06/09/13             WQE      Russia                 4 - 1       Luxembourg     
Tue         10/09/13             WQE      Russia                  3 - 1       Israel    
Fri          11/10/13             WQE      Luxembourg         0 - 4       Russia  
Tue         15/10/13             WQE      Azerbaijan            1 - 1       Russia  
Fri          15/11/13             FRI         Russia                   1 - 1       Serbia
Tue        19/11/13             FRI         Russia                   2 - 1       Korea Republic
Wed       05/03/14             FRI         Russia                   2 - 0       Armenia             
Mon       26/05/14             FRI         Russia                  1 - 0       Slovakia              
Sat         31/05/14             FRI         Norway                1 - 1       Russia  
Fri         06/06/14             FRI         Russia                   2 - 0       Morocco

Association        Russian Football Union (RFU)
Российский Футбольный Союз
Confederation                 UEFA (Europe)
Head Coach       Fabio Capello
Serie A  : 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96
Supercoppa Italiana  : 1992, 1993, 1994
UEFA Champions League  : 1993–94
European Super Cup  : 1994
Real Madrid
La Liga  : 1996–97, 2006–07
Serie A  : 2000–01
Supercoppa Italiana  : 2001
Serie A Coach of the Year: 2005
BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award: 2009
Marca Leyenda: 2011[105]
Captain                Sergei Ignashevich
Most Caps          Viktor Onopko (109)
Top Scorer          Vladimir Beschastnykh (26)
Home stadium Luzhniki
FIFA code           RUS
FIFA ranking      18 Increase +1
Highest FIFA ranking     3 (April 1996)
Lowest FIFA ranking      40 (December 1998)

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)

Strengths – Being totally home based. It is the only national team in the World Cup that possesses players produced and currently playing domestically. Having Capello as coach is the same as alluding to titles or challenging for it. Strongly strict he plays the continental football that makes this game beautiful. Pace and perfect tactical movements is what the teams coached by Capello bring to the football field. Kerzhakov, Denisov, Dzagoev, Zhirkov, Berezutskiy, Akinfeev.
Weaknesses – Weather is going to play a huge role with Russians on a negative note. Other than that, the same players that challenge for European top trophies is the same that is on the squad, and that makes the Russian squad solid with less to expose as a weakness. Kombarov, Eshchenko, Shirokov.
Opportunities – Using a more 4-2-3-1 instead of 4-3-3 Capello gave more depth to the game of Russia allowing them to dominate more and to grow their chances. They finished top of the group ahead of Portugal, might that mean something.  
Threats – It will be a challenge between South Korea, Russia and Belgium to see which of the nations will crash out. Surely, Russia will not want to experience their amazing start like in their last competition just to give away that brilliance by getting knocked out in the group stage in the last two matches.

South Korea
Coach: Hong-Myung Bo
Goalkeepers: Jung Sung-ryeong (Suwon Bluewings), Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan Horang-i), Lee Bum-young (Busan I’Park)
Defenders: Yun Suk-young (QPR), Kim Young-kwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Hwang Seok-ho (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hong Jeong-ho (Augsburg), Kwak Tae-hwi (Al Hilal), Lee Yong (Ulsan Horang-i), Kim Chang-soo (Kashiwa Reysol), Park Joo-ho (Mainz)
Midfielders: Ki Seung-yueng (Sunderland, on loan from Swansea), Ha Dae-sung (Beijing Guoan), Han Kook-young (Kashiwa Reysol), Park Jung-woo (Guangzhou R&F), Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen), Kim Bo-kyung (Cardiff City), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton Wanderers), Ji Dong-won (Augsburg).
Forwards: Koo Ja-cheol (Mainz), Lee Keun-ho (Sangju Sangmu), Park Chu-young (Arsenal), Kim Shin-wook (Ulsan Horang-i).

Sat         12/10/13             FRI         Korea Republic                 0 - 2       Brazil    
Tue        15/10/13             FRI         Korea Republic                 3 - 1       Mali      
Fri           15/11/13             FRI        Korea Republic                2 - 1       Switzerland       
Tue        19/11/13             FRI         Russia                               2 - 1       Korea Republic
Sun        26/01/14             FRI         Costa Rica                        0 - 1       Korea Republic
Thu        30/01/14             FRI         Mexico                             4 - 0       Korea Republic
Sat         01/02/14             FRI         United States                    2 - 0       Korea Republic
Wed      28/05/14             FRI          Korea Republic                 0 - 1       Tunisia
Tue        10/06/14             FRI         Ghana                               4 - 0       Korea Republic

Nickname(s)     Taegeuk Warriors The Red Devils
Association        Korea Football Association (KFA)
Sub-Confederation        EAFF (East Asia)
Confederation                 AFC (Asia)
Head Coach       Hong Myung-bo 

    South Korea U-23
Asian Games: Bronze medal: 2010
Summer Olympics: Bronze medal: 2012
Asst Coach         Kim Tae-Young
Captain                Koo Ja-cheol
Most Caps          Hong Myung-bo (136)
Top Scorer          Cha Bum-Kun (55)
FIFA code           KOR
FIFA ranking      55 Increase  
Highest FIFA ranking     17 (December 1998)
Lowest FIFA ranking      61 (February 1996)

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)

Strengths – A mixture of top Asian, Bundesliga, Premier League athletes bring depth to the nation. Experience, pace, creativity and momentum those are the best characteristics of South Korea.  Stamina will show that they will play beyond “90 minutes” and therefore they will be constantly operating and this is a challenge to opposition. Often a danger. Park Chu Young, Ji Dong-won, Son Heung-min, Lee Chung-yong, Ki Sung Yueng.
Weaknesses – Not being able to perform at the highest levels they have got us used to in the last years outside of their Asian soil. Once the organization stops, then the all Korean strategy falls dramatically. Kim Chang-soo, Kwak Tae-hwi.
Opportunities –Individual brilliance is what this nation can bring with a lot of pace, acceleration and dramatic results. Getting it properly done in the first day of the competition will give for sure room for them to advance. They are best when using the diamond movements through Ki Sung, Son Heung-min, Ji Dong-won and Lee Chung-yong and this will bring the best out of South Korea.
Threats – Failing to materialize the strategy of a “big European club” they get trashed just like they were back in early 90s. The difference is that they have the inspiration from their coach which was playing at the highest level and was part of the famous nation that finished 4th 12 years ago.  
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