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Friday, 06 December 2013 17:43

Portugal face Germany opener again

USA and Ghana make up World Cup group

brazil-world-cup-logo.jpgThe draw for the 2014 World Cup has placed Portugal in Group G alongside Germany, USA and Ghana. Just like at Euro 2012, the Seleção will kick off their campaign against Joachim Low's powerful German side.


Group G schedule:

16 June 2014
Portugal-Germany
Ghana-USA

21 June 2014
Germany-Ghana

22 June 2014
Portugal-USA

26 June 2014
Portugal-Ghana
Germany-USA

Should Portugal qualify, they will face one of Belgium, Algeria, Russia or South Korea in the last sixteen.

Reaction to the draw will be posted on PortuGOAL.net later.



Comments (72)
Ignorance is bliss
72 Saturday, 17 May 2014 18:07
Don/Ghana
It's refreshing how much people keep underestimating the black stars of ghana. Even the US is doing the same albeit losing to ghana twice already. We have players that can match the so called elite teams pound-for-pound. The team we are parading this year is also light years superior to that of 2010 given that our star star players who missed out as well as the new ones are in great form. Also people always jump the gun when it comes to our defence and say its weak: take a closer look at the 2010 mundial or more recently our qualifiers and you will be informed otherwise. Not to brag but we also boast one of the best midfields in the tourney (in the likes of Kwadwo Asamoah (juve), Kevin-Prince B. (Shalke04), Essien & Muntari (Milan), Andre Ayew (Marsseille), Christian Atsu (Vitesse), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan), Afriyie Acquah (parma) and E. Agymang-Badu (Udinese), just to mention a few) and a great forward that inlcludes a player that epitomises what a good modern day striker should be like.
The czech rep., Uruguay, and US know this. It's only unfortunate that the latter is in denial and looks like a rude awakening. In 2010 germany only beat ghana by a lone goal and you still think you can actually trust what's on paper that germany and in relation portugal or any other "great team" is so different from us? well think again. Good thing the is played on a field and not a piece of paper. There is little doubt in my mind that ghana will progress to the next phase of the competition ant the expense of germany, or portugal.
European American routing for Ghana and Portugal
71 Saturday, 15 February 2014 02:18
Greg usa
I use to be a sport addict, but by 2009 I was "sport free"(lol)for about ten years. But when I started watching the 2010 world cup over my little laptop via internet, I fell in love with world football(called soccer in the USA). It is the most beautiful but hardest game at elite international level in the world. Why it is the greatest game for children and recreation, most of all it is so cheap to play. I've read that children in very poor regions of the world will tie some rags together and play.

Competitive soccer players are pound for pound best athletes in the world. They need both anearobic(burst of speed) and aerobic ability(cover about ten kilometers per match), the footwork of top dancers, gymnastic ability, toughness, intelligence, etc.

I am an American who loves all peoples of the earth but despise our leaders imperialism

I will be praying for Portugal and Ghana. Against the US and Germany will be the hot humid weather even though summer is winter in the southern hemisphere. But Brazil is so close to the equator that its pretty tough on northern countries.

greg,male,usa(more so "citizen of the world")
portugal vs cameroon
70 Tuesday, 11 February 2014 14:53
nelson costa ,,,,canada
this would be a solid starting 11 gk patricio rb andre almeid cbpepe cb bruno alves lb coentrao dm william carvalho dm joao moutinho 10 rafa silva rw nani st postiga lw cristiano ronaldo ,,,,,,,i would not be surprised if paulo bento starts this line up its the most solid team at the moment,,,the bench,,,gk anthony lopes gk eduardo df pereira df luis neto mf veloso mf josue mf mireles vieirinha varela eder almeida
portugal vs cameroon
69 Saturday, 08 February 2014 03:06
nelson costa ,,,,canada
post 68 ghana fan do me a favour please watch the match on march 5 ,2014 PORTUGAL VS CAMEROONS ghana will get the same beating in the world cup just ronaldo alone will have ghana for supper just like sweden 1 2 3 4 goals as the world seen it sweden is away better tean then ghana or the usa we will chop ghana and usa with a little luck the germans to
Secrete weapon
68 Saturday, 01 February 2014 07:37
Ghana
All i hear is germany, germany, germany and a one player (C R) leader team portugal. US is even stronger and good than portugal despite P's qualities..... This comment is simple GH would fight de best dey can to destroy US their younger sister for de 3rd time ( if thy insist) win afterwards will do everything possible to deny Germany her 3 pnts, by beating them 1_0 (we are not losing to ozil dis time,) after securing 6p.... We turn our football war machn against C Roo , keep my words we are crushing PORTUGAL (de world best player, who wld get faustrated d@t day by de missiles of our midfield n attack) , n bringing them to thier knees.... This is the time Europe..... AFRICANS ARE AT RAGE IT OURS DIZ TIM..... we wish US good success after us..... G & P would be out....football hv com of age n we hav worked on our mistakes... How can we fear germans if we wnt de trophy in West Africa ..... Its nw / nver .... Hurray Africa Ghana wld bring the Joy u v bn deprived of ............ Ghana , an unknown silence killer...who would make Africa praud in Brazil.........................m.ozil,suarez,C roo, messi, xavi, Rvp...etc sorry it would be bitter diz time.....we are going to die n make it once and for all ... WE ARE THE ONLY TEAM TO SAVE AFRICA IN THE HISTORY OF WORLD CUP....... SO KEEP ON UNDER ESTMN US..... U wll lv to regret.........
josephgyebi
67 Thursday, 02 January 2014 18:16
Taiwan
Ghana Blackstar will surely beat USA and Portugal and draw with Germany because USA Ghana black beat the twice Germany 2006 and south Africa 20010 Ghana blackstar know how to beat USA because USA IS not a football nation Ghana blackstar is going to Brazil as a wounded lion knockout stage in Germany quarterfield in south Africa beware of Ghana blackstar
Weather Channel
66 Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:08
Bubba Zanetti SCP
This notion of Brazil's weather helping Portugal is ridiculous. Portugal's weather is a mix of Atlantic West Coast Marine with Mediterranean influences. Basically, a coastal temperate climate that gets cool/cold and rainy in fall and winter, pleasant in spring and warm/hot in summer. Of course altitude plays a large factor in climatic differences throughout the country.

Brazil has a completely different climate than Portugal. It is tropical and hot, much hotter than Portugal and with humidity that is unheard of in Europe. The only part of Brazil that has weather resembling anything found in Portugal is in the far south of Brazil because it is closer to Antarctica!

As someone had also mentioned, the continental USA gets much hotter and more humid than Portugal. So, if anything, the Americans will be more accustomed to the Brazilian heat and humidity than the Portuguese. I live in New England and New England summers are much worse than any summer I have ever experienced in Portugal. This will help the Americans. Also, summers in Germany can be very hot as well, so, I think this weather argument is moot and not relevant to how it can help any team in particular.

Now, I must go back to watching the snow fall from the window in my home office. Good night.
Our line up
65 Tuesday, 10 December 2013 17:29
Boston
Rui Patricio
João pereira---Bruno Alves---Pepe---F.Coentrāo
William Carvalho---Miguel Veloso
João Moutinho
Nani--- Postiga---C.Ronaldo

This is our best line up. We need to start integrating William into the squad.
Striker problem is overstated
64 Tuesday, 10 December 2013 17:01
NJ/USA/SLB
I know that most fear the prospect of our Strikers, but truth be told there's plenty of successful clubs playing without strikers. If anyone took note Germany played with a false 9, like Spain, during qualifiers due to injuries. You mean to tell me that Brazil has a prolific striker?
We just need someone that plays well off Cristiano, with proper positioning and movement. Work rate is important, only if its the proper on. Running around like a chicken without a head, does nobody any good.

If Bento is able to incorporate some fresh legs and we play to our capabilities, Portugal will be fine.
I just fear that we have players with either have a lot of mileage on their legs or that don't have regular playing time at the club level. Both those characteristics do not bode well for hot humid weather.
Violence.
63 Tuesday, 10 December 2013 16:47
Paulo6
I just watched the video over the latest violence in Brasil @ the Vasco (spelling ??) soccer game. What a bloody GONG SHOW, absolute barbarians. Sep Blatter and Platini should be put into the gladiator pit with these savage barbaric people. Securiity better be top notch in Brasil as it is a total gong show, extreme violence everyday, and I am talking extreme!. Savages.
andrew usa-ny
62 Monday, 09 December 2013 23:17
jose/can
Andrew, your post might be the worst post i have ever read on this site!
You should be banned from making a fool of yourself. How can you talk about a player skill. If what you said about Helder, Bruno, and Nelson we're true, this guys could even play on a beer league. How can a player poses no skills of any kind, play professional sports.
I'm not saying that any of our strikers are as good as Falco, or Cavani, but you make them sound like they should be playing wheel chair soccer. Dummy!!

PS saw Eder play this week.....not much better then what we have already! Sorry to bust your bubble..

Why not us
@George
61 Monday, 09 December 2013 22:37
Orlando/USA
Come on man, remember World Cup 2006 for third place? They spanked us.. remember Euro Cup 2008.. oh yea they spanked us too. Most recent Euro Cup 2012.. oh yes, we lost against the Germans.

Do the math..we haven't beaten the Germans for some time now. What makes you think we will in Brazil? We won't and I predict a 2-0 German win. Unfortunatley.
Armchair playmakers
60 Monday, 09 December 2013 10:27
Miguel - Portugal
@Andrew USA-NY

Do you actually think you're in a better position to evaluate what a player can and cannot bring to the team as far as goal scoring potential than Paulo Bento, the guy who spends his days watching those guys play for their clubs, experimenting with different players and different tactics in training and relying on years of experience as an international footballer?

I don't agree with a couple of his choices. I don't like Hugo Almeida, I think Nani shouldn't be starting any matches right now and I also think William Carvalho is a lot better than Veloso. But I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. I'm no expert - as you seem to be.

My advice to you, sir... Lay off the Football Manager for a while. Maybe even uninstall it from your computer.
portugals only problem
59 Sunday, 08 December 2013 19:57
andrew usa-ny
Does anyone here realize the only real problem that portugal has? The problem that's been plaguing the national team since it's beginning.
The Portugal squad who is unfortunately under the reign of Paulo Bento, only lacks depth in one position. That position is the absolutely critical one, of a striker/finisher. Now let's go through some of bentos ridiculously played "stars" who are more like " black holes" more than anything else.

OK so Helder Postiga. He's a 31 year old experienced veteran, yes. But just that. He's 31 years old whose pace is ridiculously slow. How can he start with Ronaldo on one side and Nani( who in my opinion is overrated, rarely starts for man united and since his injury seems like he forgot how he played beforehand, who should without question be replaced by Bruma/Varela. But that's a debate for another day.) He can't. Postiga does have some clinical finishing skills, positioning and finishing.. But what use is that when you don't have the pace to keep up with the rest of the squad. Not to mention horrible in the air, no passing, no dribbling and ball control. He's as useless to the squad as an ejection seat on a helicopter.

Don't even dare mentioning the most ridiculous inclusion in the Portugal squad to date. Its even more so than our "team counselor" being Luis Figo, his name Hugo Almeida. Almeida's inclusion in the squad has to be a joke from Bento..... Right? Nope. He's played him and has only scored once in world cup qualifying. He' currently a 29 year old who looks and plays like he's 45. Talking about slow pace, he beats Postiga by a mile, or doesn't beat him, whatever...... He on the other hand has no skills what so ever. He's tall, 6'3 to be exact, so he gets most of the headers from a goal kick, making him seem like he's busy throughout the game. But what does he actually contribute. Absolutely nothing.. He has no dribbling, no pace, no passing, no positioning skills, no finishing, no creativity. He's as useless as Obama at a press conference. Oh! Not to mention his shooting/ finishing skills are no where to be found. How can you miss an open goal, uncontested shot 3ft from the face of goal and put it far right into the crowd or up top post( YouTube miss vs Luxembourg and Argentina and have a laugh on me... I implore you.) Paulo Bento must have some allegiance or secret butt cuddling love affair with Hugo Almeida because no other manager on the face of this earth would ever include him in the squad, nonetheless actually give him playing time.

On to the next one, the "prodigy child of some fans and of the under 21 squad" Nelson Oliveira. Yes he produces some goals for his club, leading with 7. But where, ahhh yes in the French league. Please........... His finishing skills although slim are some what there I guess/kinda..... Many would argue he doesn't get enough playing time to actually show them off. Regardless, his vision is non existent when playing on the national team. He's as blind as a bat with no eyes. He has no attention/vision. As Selfish as I've seen then come or as a jew in a jewelry shop. Horrible/virtually no passing and ball control. No jump/ups for headers, horrible in the air. Has as much jump as 75 year old in a wheelchair... I believe his potential might be there.....NOT! Maybe in 10 years when he's 32 he'll have it but not now...actually forget it, not ever.

So I guess we can't blame Paulo Bento. Its not his fault that he couldn't direct a turd down a toilet... He just has no one to choose from. Right? He has to rely on the same old non skillful strikers, and portugal just has to deal with the same problem that has plagued the national team since its inception..Dead wrong. So there's this player named Eder. Some of you might of heard of him... Umm... Why Eder? Why not?
He's a young 25 year old. Extremely quick pace, strong as a bull, decent aerial abilities, his shot is amazing, ball control is there, passing is o.k., fear factor is great, great vision, great stamina. He has only played 4 games for portugal, being second fiddle to Postiga or Almeida. He hasn't had his chance to show his worth. I guess he never will, with this love triangle between Almeida Postiga and Bento....

Until Portugal finds or develops a clinical striker out of these 4.... We will always have the same goal scoring problem, which in turn leads to our defeats and us relying on Ronaldo way too much. Who are we kidding.. If it weren't for Ronaldo's abilities we would be no where on the world stage. I seriously believe and am sure that starting Eder would relieve some of that pressure Ronaldo faces and assist finally in producing goals from someone other than the best player in the world.. Lets see in Brazil if Bento smartens up and plays Eder. If not, and he plays any of the other 3, I guarantee you that you can kiss the cup goodbye, unless a miracle by Ronaldo, and ill be here saying I told you so.... Till then hoping bento gains some "juizo" I guess is all any of us can do. Goodbye from NY.
Match Schedule - Rui/Dubai
58 Sunday, 08 December 2013 18:31
Eduardo/Canada
Hi Rui,

Would you post the link to the Match Schedule in Excel format? All I can find are PDFs.

To all those saying you have to beat the best to be the best. Sure BUT you don't want every game to be difficult - you need some easy games or you are done - no matter how good you are.

That is what happened to us in 2006 - by the semifinal the team was running on fumes and for the 3rd place game they were physically and emotionally exhausted.
Tough but not group of death
57 Sunday, 08 December 2013 11:26
Steve/Australia
OK, looking at the pots, in Pot 2 Chile is the only world class team and Ivory Coast and Ghana are decent. I rate Ecuador as well because these guys role around in the sun for fun and are going to love the humid and hot conditions.

We were unlucky with the USA, but I'd much rather them than Mexico or France for that matter. whilst Germany will be tough I think I would rather them than Brasil, Uruguay and Spain (all fellow top seeds) as for Mexico they are in really bad form but they have a habbit of always getting out of the group stages. Whilst I'm not jumping up and down I am happy we will be tested but I think we faced a tougher ask at the Euros and got through.

On a side note, I just think the system is a little unfair for weak teams there could be some cricket scores against some of the weaker teams. Europe and South America are just way ahead and the gap is widdening with the emergence of Columbia and Chile. Belguim and Bosnia should do OK as well.
some things to think about
56 Sunday, 08 December 2013 04:32
Justin/Rochester
I'm Writing This On My Phone And It Makes Every Word Have Capital Letters So Sorry In Advance. Anyways I Have Portuguese Born Parents From Madeira And Grew In The USA. As Some Of You Have Mentioned Germany Will Be Tough To Beat. As For Ghana They Are Extremely Fast From Midfield Through Attack And Its Tough To Defend Speed. However They Might Not Be Mentally As Sharp As Portugal. Something To Think About Is The World Cup Is 6 Months Away And The Majority Of The USA Players Just Finished Their Mls Season Now. With The Exception Of A Few Players Who Play Overseas The Majority Are Just Resting And Training Together. As For Portugal We Have To Worry About InjuriesDuring The Next Six Months Etc. As For The Temperature Being In Our Favor I Don't Agree. A Lot Of The USA Geographically Is Much Hotter Than Portugal Is And A Good Majority Like I Said Of Players Will Be Preparing In Heat Together. Portugal Will Have Players All Over Europe Playing With Different League Styles And Only Have A Few Weeks To Gel. Our Best Players Will Be Playing A Lot Of Champions LeagueAnd Season Games Late Into May.
High hope
55 Sunday, 08 December 2013 01:47
Leo/Hong Kong
High hope Portugal can beat the Germans, make a good start and top the group.

With CR in top form and Moutinho consistently had creative play and solid back 4 with assists from Concetrao and Perreira, what needs to be trained is some new ones in midfield good at tackling and ball possession so that attacking players can be freed up.

Hope Bento will not be so stubborn and let more chances for new younger players. And Nani please return to good form, he already miss WC 2010.

We portugal fans need to have stronger mentality to support the team, who also need stronger mentality and conviction to win big team and even world cup.

Forca Portugal !
Thanks George/NJ/USA, corrected
54 Saturday, 07 December 2013 23:31
Tom Kundert, Portugal
Schedule corrected. Thank you for pointing out that mistake. Interesting that Portugal will play their second game (against USA) after Germany & Ghana have already played two games. In theory could be a slight advantage, in that they will know exactly what result they need before KO.

Having said that, I agree with a lot of opinions that this is a really tough group, perhaps harder than some are thinking. But also agree with many that should Portugal get through, whether 1st or 2nd, a decent chance of going deep - no Spain or similar standing side waiting for them in last 16 like in 2010.

Great discussion people. Reaction article to be posted shortly.

Força Portugal.
Bento
53 Saturday, 07 December 2013 21:13
jonathan canada
Our team has the potential has to go far but not with that clown of a coach that we have. Therefore my confidence level is low because of him. The key game is aganist Germany if we can beat them which i believe we can or even draw them which we should have done at Euro 2012 we should be okay. If we loose than we can still advance which we did at Euro 2012, but it will be more difficult
World cup
52 Saturday, 07 December 2013 20:26
Cuzzie Canada
Playing in brazil unless we're playing brazil we should have a lot of support. The heat will also help us against Germany and USA. The planets are lining up. This will be the year!
@ Orlando
51 Saturday, 07 December 2013 19:46
George/NJ/USA
Dude, step back off that ledge.

Portugal was able to advance from a group with Germany, Holland, and Denmark last year.

I would say that was a more difficult group than the one we face this time.
GROUP OF DEATH
50 Saturday, 07 December 2013 19:26
george / usa
in my opinion its seems Portugal in the group of death. only advice to Portugal is to train physically, run their asses off. if they don't the other 3 teams will out run Portugal. that's what they are good for. Portugal needs to stop falling because its not going to help. ref wont take sides and they are aware that Portugal falls a lot.

I cant wait viva Portugal!!!!!!!!1
Add Ons
49 Saturday, 07 December 2013 18:12
NJ/USA/SLB
The below link (I hope it's ok to post), is an article that breaks down the World Cup in distance travel and temperature variations.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/bobbymcmahon/2013/12/02/the-numbers-that-show-the-inequity-of-the-fifa-2014-world-cup-draw-2/

Although Portugal and Brazil have many similarities, the humidity at Manaus isn't one of them. I would welcome to say that the US, our opponent, might have better better acclimated players.

Side Note Response;

Maybe you can convince me that Group B is the Group of Death. But that's a three horse race.

Some have mentioned Group D, but I don't think that England is very good.
Hopeless..
48 Saturday, 07 December 2013 17:27
Orlando/USA
I can not recall the last time Portugal beat Germany. In fact, it's been over 10 years. Portugal will likely lose the first game, the Germans are way too powerful.

As for Ghana and the USA, these will be tough as well. I'm afraid we will not make it through the group stages and Bento will be replaced after this World Cup.

I'm afraid it's hopeless.
Bracket/flowchart
47 Saturday, 07 December 2013 17:25
Paulo6
I have studied the bracket/flowchart. Portugal will come in second in there group, will then beat Belgium, will beat Argentina. And meet Spain in Semifinal and as per usual they wil LOOSE against Spain in the semi in dramatic fassion of course. Side note: The Selecao will not beat Spain, France or Italy if they meet any of them ever in whatever tourneys. #Fact.
Home from home
46 Saturday, 07 December 2013 16:41
Jeremyjoao/UK
Playing in Brazil is next best to playing in Portugal as Filipe pointed out, we should have terrific support that no one else in the group can count on. And so on to business, any one with a long memory will surely want to see the selecao avenge that awful defeat at the hands of the USA in South Korea in 2002 under Antonio Oliviera, and we should really be sticking it to the Germans after their fortuitous win in Euro 2012, Portugal had them on the ropes in the second half and they know how lucky they were to come away with a win. Whilst the Germans are powerful they are by no means unbeatable and have weaknesses that even mediocre Italian sides always seem to exploit. Lets be confident in the New World, we can write a new history. Forca Portugal - Vamos a isto!
Travel
45 Saturday, 07 December 2013 16:02
George/NJ/USA
Editors: The Portugal v USA game is on the 22nd not 21st.

I don't understand why FIFA did not make all teams in the group play their 2nd game in Manuas like Portugal and the US have to. Germany and Ghana are at a huge advantage.

Wouldn't be shocked if transportation from Salvador to Manaus included a 25-hour bus ride. Nothing about this organizing committee would shock me.
More points
44 Saturday, 07 December 2013 15:54
Andre/UK
First of all there are rarely any easy matches at the WC, that game against North Korea last time was an exception, but normally you have to expect the level of competition at this tournament to be tough. And this group will be tough, but we all know that's when the Selecao normally comes alive, when the opposition is tough.

Good that we play Germany first, just like at the Euros last year playing them first should kick us right into gear for the rest of the tournament. Like some others here I think the Germans are beatable. We are due a good result against them after them winning the last 3 against us, the last 2 were very close affairs which could've gone either way.

At the Euros I thought Bento screwed up his tactics and we showed them way too much respect with an overly defensive approach. I hope he doesn't repeat that this time because they are not particularly strong defensively and we must look to attack their back line with pace and precision. If Bento gets his tactics right this time we could really get a positive result in that first game.

The next two matches though will be the ones that decide if we progress or not. We have to take both those matches seriously and not under-estimate either the US or Ghana. The Americans play with a lot of heart and determination but they can't compare to us in terms of technical ability. Just like against the Swedes in the play off, we have to match their team work and togetherness, and if we do that then we should beat them.

The last match with Ghana could be very difficult, they have good players particularly in midfield and are very fit and energetic. Again we have to match their energy and team spirit and if so then we will have a very good chance to beat them also. I think the group will be very close in the end with perhaps few points separating all 4 teams at the end. But I think with the experience within our squad and easier adaptation to the Brasileiro conditions and atmosphere (will be like a second home really) and of course the presence of CR7 in the peak of his powers...that we will be one of the two to qualify from this tough group.
Not a Easy Draw But Up to Task
43 Saturday, 07 December 2013 15:10
Tony, CA
The draw is a very difficult one as the three teams have some attributes that could over power Portugal. Each of these teams has their level of futebol technical ability, my concern is the physical prowess, speed, and athletic play that could be imposing especially to our midfield.

It is time to rebuild the midfield with more athletic and phyically imposing players to allow Moutinho to be more of a play maker. Given our lack of depth in attacking and limited options (e.g. striker, Nani's form), we need to become a France from 2006. You win with a strong back 4 plus two strong def mid field type players. I think we need to explore Fernando and William as a combo. You can bring players like Veloso or Meireles off the bench. If Bento is serious about rebuilding then it starts there.

Our attacking options of course will center around CR, I don't expect that we will have the ideal striker but will need to make the best of what we have. As much as it hurts to say this Almeida may be our best option against these physical teams. Nelson O is not ideal to play against these team as he does not hold the ball well and is selfish. We will need Nani to regain some form, develop Bruma as an option, and maybe Josue is an answer. I can't believe all the love for Veirhinha, this player was exposed before he got hurt, he is modest player at best, very limited especially against physical team --- he is no answer.

If Bento is able to incorporate in the next 6 months some effective player changes, improve set piece defending (I don't get how bad we are), and physically/mentally prepare the team we are up to the task to get out of this group.

Ghana is a force that should not be taken lightly, we know who Germany is, and USA is mentally and physically tough that play like a unit. Lets see if we go go out of the box to improve this team or we stick to our old formulas that will not be good enough.
very tough
42 Saturday, 07 December 2013 14:59
ted/usa
As a USA fan, will say, the big thing for us is going to be health...our top 11 or so are strong (we had a 14-game winning streak going at one point this past year that included wins over Germany, Bosnia, and Mexico, as well as a Gold Cup championship), but our key guys are Altidore, Dempsey, Fabian Johnson, and especially Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley...when any of those guys are out (especially Donovan/Bradley) the team drops off substantially. (Tim Howard is also a great keeper but the USA goes 3-4 deep in great keepers.) We could also really use a right back...that's been a problem for us for 2-3 years now, especially not good when some guy called Ronaldo is coming at you. Klinsmann has done a phenomenal - not good, but phenomenal - job with the team, though, and when they're playing well (as they did against Germany this summer) this team can score in bunches, and plays much more aggressive, attacking soccer than the USA has ever played before. Very, very, tough group, though...could be the sort of group where everybody takes points off everybody, and even four points could see a team through.
THIS IS NOT THE FROUP OF DEATH
41 Saturday, 07 December 2013 14:22
Johnieoooooo
It's the group of LOOOOOOOOOOVE baby
viva portugaaaaaaaaalllllll.
No Fear
40 Saturday, 07 December 2013 13:49
Canada
This is an awesome group. Portugal should not be scared, the reason is, this is the world cup where no one is really going to park the bus and play countries that will attack. You know what happens when other countries do that we beat at counter as was seen against Sweden.
Hopefully in preparation for the world cup they play friendlies against countries that are going to the world cup, not faroe islands or malta. We should play teams like nigeria or ivory coast and some other european team that will be going to the world cup.
The things that made my worries go away with the draw when bento said “We will be stronger that at Euro 2012,” that just gives me chills that we we were a penalty shot away to go the finals just imagine with some luck and with that expression from our leader what opportunities await for us in brazil.
i think you are dreaming
39 Saturday, 07 December 2013 13:19
ghana
portugals best game against ghana will be a draw.is assive u guys are underestimating ghana.ask usa,czeck republick,germany and uruguay.u wud get to know wat playing the black stars mean.Ghana wil top the group and the 2nd spot depends on u weda u can grab it...andrew dede ayew,sulley muntari,michael essien,kevin prince boateng,gyan,warris,kwadjo assamoah,jordan ayew,agyemang badu and the likes.....portugal be careful bcause u suffer at ur own peril wen u underate Ghana
Tough group
38 Saturday, 07 December 2013 10:26
João/Holanda
but doable, Bento really needs to improve our set piece defending keeping the null is really important here.

The match I'm most worried about is not the one against Germany (we haven't won against Germany since 2000 so I'm not expecting much here) but the one against the USA. The USA always seems do better than you'd expect of them in these tournaments and on top of that the match is played in Manaus which is right in the middle of the tropical rainforest high humidity and temperature doesn't favour teams that rely on high pace and speed. We could get in trouble there.
we can win the group
37 Saturday, 07 December 2013 09:03
torpiano, uk
The Germans are not exactly happy with this draw - they have to play their 3 games all in the north of Brazil where it is very hot and the humidity is high. They like to play a high-intensity pressing game and the conditions should favour us more than them.

If we get at least a draw in that game we could win this group.

Ghana and USA are not bad but like Rui Miguel said they are at a similar level to someone like Sweden and we should be beating both of them.

We have the best player in the world in our squad and if he's in the form next summer that he is in right now - who knows how far we could go?
Not easy but it could of been far worse
36 Saturday, 07 December 2013 08:05
Steve/Australia
In my opinion, these teams are beatable. Germany will be tough but I think we can at least grab a draw against them and possibly even beat them. We have 1 world class team and 2 solid teams so we should be going through this group as long as we do not take the USA and Ghana lightly like last time when we lost against the USA (after being 3 nil down in the first half) in Korea and Japan. These are my group ranking from hardest to easiest.

I have ordered then in the order I think they will finish.

Hardest:
Group B: Netherlands, Chile, Spain, Australia
(Very big call but I'm going to say it... Spain to be pipped by Chile who are an extremely underated team. Could down to goal difference and who scores the most against Australia it doesn't look good for them)

Group D: Uruguay, Italy, England, Costa Rica
(3 world class teams or teams with a lot of world class players and somethings got to give, Uruguay have to much firepower for England and I think Italy will have enough to get a result and grab second. Costa Rica could surprise and grab a draw which could cost Italy or England second)

Group C: Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan, Greece
(I can see people laughing at this group being so high but Japan is the best in Asia, Greece is not easy to beat, Ivory Coast are probably second in Africa and Colombia have one heck of a strike force. Colombia are the best team on paper but any of the others could get second)

Group G: Portugal, Germany, Ghana, USA
(As said before 2 world class teams and 2 solid ones. USA will be super competitive and Ghana will give Germany a run with their pace and strength but the top 2 should be to strong. Won't be easy though)

Easier:
Group H: Russia, Belgium, Algeria, South Korea
(Belguim and Russia here, Belgium have one of the most talented squads in the world and Russia have a proven coach. Algeria are solid but will not cause an upset and South Korea just making up the numbers)

Group A: Brazil, Mexico, Croatia, Cameroon
(Obviously Brasil here but second will be a battle. Mexico and Croatia are two strong out of form teams so it could go either way. Cameroon just making up the numbers)

Group F: Argentina, Bosnia, Nigeria, Iran
(Argentina to become favourites after topping this weak group. Bosnia with a solid squad will smash the others and if they are lucky might go on a run similar to what Ukraine did when they first made a world cup in making the quarters)

Group E: France, Ecuador, Switzerland, Honduras
(The French must have been jumping with glee when they were drawn with the Swiss as they were seeded. Equador will be tough on their home continent and they'll probably sneak through in second. If the Swiss can cause an upset against France then they may well sneak through at Frances expense but I doubt it. If France come with their A game then it is no contest but this is a big if but even then this group is quite weak. Honduras are making up the numbers)
group of death. costa rica spoils it for group b
35 Saturday, 07 December 2013 07:27
Yom Nfojoh/ accra ghana.
Interesting, as an avid football fan I searched all over the net for predictions and reactions and came across this, I'm from ghana, and I finally understand why African teams always pull surprises albeit they do not go very far, it's simply because being focused on Europe your perception of African teams is skewed to what you see in regular leagues, I'm sure you're unaware here in ghana this is the strongest most dedicated as well as collectively strong headed team we've ever put together for a world cup, destroying Egypt 6-1 in the playoff was no mean feat, the first time we saw the kids we had spent time developing fuse with the old guard, finding out about our group I must admit did put us off because of the high optimism we had on a relatively easier route, you mentioned our star players to be the likes of Essien, Kevin, muntari, gyan and it made me smile, true they are our stars we view those players in ghana as caretakers they offer a certain balance to our younger boys who are beginning to look more lethal and fearless than you could imagine, wakaso left espanyol for rubin kazan, our own Messi like whizkid Christian atsu purchased by mourinho and farmed of to vitesse arnheim to gain playing time, ageyman Badu of udinese, Abdul majed Waris sweedish top scorer who moved to spartak Moscow, kwadwo asamoah whom you all know, the ayew brothers of marseille the underestimation of some of these boys will be the undoing of some 'bigger' teams depending on their level of seriousness, trust me it may seem fallible to your ears but ghana is a country who's main ambition is to win the world cup our track record, first African team to win an Olympic football medal, first to win world u17 gold, first and only to win u20 gold, the world cup is something we crave believe it or not, my point is a first round or quarter final exit for us would mean coming home with our heads down and hence you should come to the realisation that the fight that will be put up in the group stages will be of immense proportion. The fans here have high demands which may seem unrealistic but it has worked in getting us where we are, we had greater teams in the abedi ayew era, but due to infighting never made it to a single world cup, we learnt from that (something I'm sure ivory Coast is going through now) and hence have become a rigid cohesive unit, given, our defence may seem weak but with so many high quality midfield options we can be able to deploy Essien and kwadwo asamoah at right and left back respectively :) (my personal advice to the coach if I should meet him) Gyan surprised us all with the form he is showing seeing that he moved to the middle east, yet has proven to be miles better tactically and mentally than he was in 2010. Portugal, germany, ooze class but it is my personal belief that the hunger of the Ghanaian footballer is HIGHLY underestimated we watch the performances our boys in Europe yet under the cloak of Ghana especially on a world cup stage the fearless resilience produced is awe inspiring, 2006, 2nd round, 2010 quarter final(damn you suarez) 2014 where do you think we want to be? Tread carefully fellows. Do well to pass this on to loew,bento and Jurgen. Do well to remember my words.
beware ghana
34 Saturday, 07 December 2013 05:09
hareesh,kerala/india
the gap between us and world cup is only 7 matches.thats the first thing to remember.why some guys fear germany?are they unbeatable?lol...we can beat them by possession game.no ball to germans should be the slogan.possession and attack will destroy german team.we have a 12 year old revenge against usa and we must sweep them from the field.i think the surprise team of the group is ghana so beware ghana.more concentration shoud be given to that match.and i have a wild dream and yes its possible also.quaresma to porto,his breath taking performances again...his arrival to NT and his magic in brazil.a ronaldo quaresma partnership and its big success....
good group
33 Saturday, 07 December 2013 03:55
roger australia
Don't worry my friends. If you want to win a world cup, you have to beat the best teams. Sometimes it's better to meet big teams in the group stage, as well will not fa've Germany until the finals. If we make it past the group, we face group H. The weakest group. We should at least make the quarters. If we face an attacking team with a poor defense like Argentina, we csn go further
All Guns!!! full out Blazing !!
32 Saturday, 07 December 2013 02:09
Veeetor!!! Toronto Canada
So Glad we missed out on Brazil's group and satisfied for revenge sake against Germany.. call me hardheaded but we have a score to settle with them. Someone mentioned Hugo starting striker and I would use him also in this game being a former Wolfsberg player.

Game 2 against the US no matter what happens its going to be ugly , Americans will not respect Ronaldo or Portugal and they are going have to work even harder against this team....I am sure this game will be full of controversy this team will be a thorn in Portugals side...good thing they are playing them 2nd because they may need to beat Ghana to move to the next round ofcourse not an easy game but I think this schedule helps Portugal.
first match is key
31 Saturday, 07 December 2013 01:51
NJ/USA
if we can get through the first match with even a point we will be in good position. chances are either USA or Ghana will get the 3 points and have less pressure on them when we face them.

i see us going into the 3rd group stage match controlling our own destiny. the portugal way, do or die back against the wall to advance as always.
Response To
30 Friday, 06 December 2013 23:31
Rui Miguel/Canada
@(JOSE/CANADA)

Great points overall. I slightly disagree on Hugo Almeida however. I think he's cost us a lot with his poor finishing. You make a good argument though. He does things Postiga isn't capable of.

Some people don't realize that Almeida was the one who delivered a nice chip pass to Ronaldo for his second goal in Stockholm. Postiga doesn't really have that in his game.

Plus, we're an excellent counter attacking team and Postiga's lack of football IQ, passing and speed means he's a liability of sorts.

But as for whether Almeida should be on the squad. I say no. We only need three strikers at most. Plus, Ronaldo could play centre-forward in the late stages of matches.

Eder and Nelson Oliveira could do what Almeida does. That's basically my argument. We also need to look at the future. Postiga is 31 and Almeida can't be our best option behind him. We need to embrace youth and potential.

Forca Portugal!!
Travel
29 Friday, 06 December 2013 23:23
Matthew / USA
The American press is full of discussion about the grueling travel schedule that the US team will have.

I assume Portugal's travel burden will be just as bad.
Forca Portugal...Cristiano...
28 Friday, 06 December 2013 23:22
Felipe/London
Tough group, but if we want to do well we got to beat big teams, so this is the group for us to step up and give 100 percent. Another thing many people forget, this will be like a second home for the Portuguese national team in Brazil, with one or two Brazilian born players in are squad and both countries speaking Portuguese, these little things may help us settle more than most teams in the world cup. I have a good feeling for this world cup, maybe playing with Fernando or William Carvalho defensively in midfield to make us a more of a solid unit, while Moutinho can weive his magic in midfield, hopefully Nani's form improves before the world cup also, he would be a boost having him in form. Are center back paring of Pepe and Bruno Alves is a solid one who will bully strikers, while Coentrao and Perreira always give problems for opposing wings. Can see Cristiano tearing up teams in this world cup (no jynx ha)

Forca Portugal!
THIS IS THE GROUP OF DEATH
27 Friday, 06 December 2013 23:11
Johnieooo
For Germany , USA and Ghana buahaha
In Response
26 Friday, 06 December 2013 23:00
Rui Miguel/Canada
@(NJ/USA/SLB) and @(Tony/USA)

You two think this is the Group of Death. Are you mad? At most this is the third most difficult group. In fact it worked out better for us.

If we were in Belgium's group instead of Russia, he could possibly face Germany in the first knockout phase. That's what happened in 2008. We actually have a good path to the quarterfinals where we could face two teams France/Argentina whose recent record in competitions have been dreadful.

Also @(NJ/USA/SLB) You think Ghana and USA would easily go through in any other group? Have you completely lost your mind. They're good teams but I would say they're at Sweden's level and I'm being generous.

We've had our disagreements in the past but you're better than that amigo. I guess its not surprising. Benfiqeistas are well known for not having much faith in Portuguese talent.

Seriously, I'm sure you would do better in an English website on Argentinian/Brazilian, even Serbian football.
Group of death for them!
25 Friday, 06 December 2013 22:56
JOSE/CANADA
I understand that allot of Portuguese were disappointing with the draw of Germany....but i can assure you that they are not happy to get Portugal either!!

My feeling is that Portugal is due for a victory over the Germans!!!

Also Portugal has a player that can make the difference in a game! RONALDO!!

I know that most of you are not going to be very happy when I tell you that Hugo Almaida will definitely be on the team along with William Carvalho or Fernando....but not Both.

Even though I agree that Almaida doesn't score enough, he is a big dude, who helps defend set pieces! He also help Portugal Keep Possession of the Ball.....if you
have any doubt go back and watch Portugal with Spain in the semi finals of Euro. Up until the 92 minute mark Portugal out played Spain, but as soon as Almaida came out of the game Portugal could not hold possession of the ball. He won almost every long ball that was kicked up the field allowing Ronaldo, and Nani to run at the Spanish defense. Again go back and watch the game before you go nuts on me.....that's all i'm saying.
Take a breath from your hatred and do your home work!

Also i'm not saying that Almaida should be the starter..but the man does work hard for the shirt and is a total team player.
Unlike Quaresma the show pony, who I wish all the best at Porto for club and the player!....but mark my words unless 2 or 3 wingers go down with injures RQ has no shot of being called up to Portugal!

If you know the History of Bento, he doesn't call up selfish players like Bosingwa, Manuel Fernandes, and Ricardo Quaresma! His philosophy is to bring in players with a little less talent, but give everything to the Green and red.

I can tell you as a coach, who has been very successful, you do not win with selfish players, and it doesn't matter how talented the are! I learned that the hard way!! They are like a cancer that spreads through the team.

My linupe would be


Rui P

Pereira Pepe B. Alves Coentrao

William Carvalho

Moutinho

Josue
Nani or Bruma C.Ronaldo

Eder

Who ever the coach call up and decides to play, he will have my full support! I believe that Portugal will have a great world cup.

Let get togeather my fellow Portuges brother and believe that nothing is impossible for Portuguses men of War!!

My team won a national Championship and our slogan was......Why Not Us.

I am asking all of You,,,,, Why Not Us.......PORTUGAL
Group of Death
24 Friday, 06 December 2013 21:41
Tony/USA
As an American with Portuguese parents and a Portuguese upbringing I have always bled the colors of the Portugal flag. The Portuguese anthem gives me chills that the American anthem just doesn't bring out. So with that being said I couldn't be more dissapointed with this draw.

Make no mistake this is the group of Death. Not only with the teams we have drawn but also our stadium schedule. We have one of the most brutal travel schedules in the whole tournament. We have to go play USA in that ridiculous stadium in the Amazon jungle where humidity will be over 90 percent. In all honesty this draw couldn't be any worse.

Reading all these positive comments has helped me feel a bit better but I hope everyone is aware of just how difficult of a hand we have been dealt.
group G
23 Friday, 06 December 2013 21:18
brandao/canada
well well this world cup is going to be very exciting. For me this group is the group of death no wonder we can't win world cups. anyways I can see us going through with germany but those matches with ghana and usa are going to be very hard and of course germany. Very excited to see these games happen and all the others. can't wait for the world cup to start.
No Breaks
22 Friday, 06 December 2013 21:17
Canada
As is true to form, Portugal never gets any breaks, a la France. Such is our destiny. My first reaction was, oh no, not the Group of Death again, but upon further reflection, its not so bad. Without getting into a deep discussion on tactical strategies that should and shouldn't be used by Bento, and with obvious prerequisites, ie Ronaldo in top form, here is my prediction...Portugal tops the group with 3 solid wins, the USA surprises everyone with a second place finish on 6 points, mostly due to an unexpected victory over Germany, who go crashing out with only 3 points, tied with Ghana. Call me crazy.
Early Comments
21 Friday, 06 December 2013 21:09
NJ/USA/SLB
I think that this is definitely the Group of Death. Stick any of these teams in any other group, and they would expect to advance.
If you look at posted odds, Portugal and USA are evenly matched in advancing with Ghana bringing up the rear.
I think that's a mistake. Ghana scored plenty, albeit verse lesser competition, during qualifying and were solid in defense. They also dismantled a very competent Egypt squad. Never mind that they have plenty of players playing in leagues throughout Europe.
The US is always a tricky team, because they don't have much playing in better leagues. But they have stepped up and surprised at every tourney.
Germany is solid.

That being said, we'll have an easier matchup once we advance. Belgium is a very talented team, but inexperienced. We should have finished ahead of Russia in qualifying.
Winning the group outright would facilitate advancement even further.

Can't wait for it to begin.

On a side note, once Fernando is sold in January (if Porto don't he'll be free to go in the summer), will people still be clamoring for him?
Best news
20 Friday, 06 December 2013 20:35
Bogdan- Romania
Bros, this is good news. Portugal is for sure making next round of World cup. But for sure we need Bento to stop being stupid bro. He needs a lineup that will maximize best team for the tournament bro.

Here is my lineup for Portugal WC 2014 team, man:

GK: Sergiu Balcescu
DF: Micky Quaresma, Dita Donescu, Bruno Alves, Bombescu
MF: Bogdanovic, Sebastian Quaresma, Andrea Quarmescu
FW: Naniescu, Alan Koresma, Ricardo Quaresma

If Bento doesn't use this lineup, and include all the Quaresma brothers, than forget it bro, it's not happening.

Good luck Seleccao and Nikolai Bentoscu!
Happy With The Draw
19 Friday, 06 December 2013 20:28
Rui Miguel/Canada
Overall, this is pretty close to ideal for me. I did not want an easy group because the team could get complacent. I also want to face good competition early so the team has the mental toughness in the knockout round.

I'm happy we're facing Germany because they're the most solid squad in the tournament. I predict another one goal loss or a draw against them.

And with all do respect to the Luso-Americans on this site and Ghana as well, I expect solid wins against both those teams.

Ghana has some good players but they know that they are overmatched. I've always admired the 'can-do' attitude of Americans but this is a disastrous draw for them. Also, not sold on Jurgen Klinsmen as a manager.

And note to Paulo Bento. Let's see that solid emerging generation of talent in upcoming friendlies. Josue, Eder, Nelson, Bruma, Martins, Adrien, Carvalho, A. Almeida, Cedric, maybe Ilori if he gets more playing time.

I feel good about our chances if we get out of the group. Belgium is a very good team but still inexperienced. And let's not overrate them, they'll still go into the match as underdogs against us.

But there are no easy games. We have one of the greatest players of all-time at the height of his powers. An unusual advantage playing in Brazil. Plus, an amazing emerging generation. I predict semi-final and possibly beyond.

Temos de acreditar. Viva Portugal!
Russia luckily squeezed it's way into the easiest group over us.
18 Friday, 06 December 2013 20:24
Milton de Silva-Matos/USA
I can't believe it, we were THAT close to finally getting a break for once. If we dodged one more bloody selection, we would have made it into the easiest group but of course, Russia is always so very fortunate. It's almost like we were deliberately trolled. In the back of my mind, i knew having us in the easiest group was too good to be true but it was fun having us come close to finally catching a break for once at least.

As for our group itself, we evaded Brasil & Spain, so no complaints here. There is three potential groups of death, arguably four, so i do not think that anybody should really be complaining. Germany is more beatable than many people think. I mean, if Italy can do it, we can too. However, in all likelihood we will not be playing for the win in that game so it's incredibly important that Bento uses the best players at his disposal for the specific tactic when it comes to playing offensive powerhouses like Germany. In other words, Fernando needs to be on this team once he's naturalized. He will be the absolute KEY component against teams like that. The only way he shouldn't be on this team is if he isn't naturalized.

On to Ghana & the US. These teams scare me more than Germany and it's because we are going to be forced into playing for the win against them. Ghana, although considerably weak on the back-end, can haunt us on the counter-attack with the offensive quality they have. The US will probably be the most difficult to score against as we play for the win in that game, and we've encountered our fair share of issues against teams like that.

As long as Bento doesn't stay conservative in all of the matches, i wouldn't be too worried. How we play against Germany in order to draw will be completely different than how we play against the US & Ghana in order to win. So it's incredibly dangerous to stick with the same starters all the way through.
Exciting
17 Friday, 06 December 2013 20:20
Andre/UK
Well I am quite satisfied with the draw and confident we will progress. It could have been easier with any of those 4 weak looking groups (I knew FIFA would ensure this with their absolute cock up of the seeding system!)...but it also could've been tougher, such as group A or B (Brasil's and Spain's) which would've been the worst scenario particularly given that they're tied together and play each other in the second round.

It's a tough group we've got, no doubt about it and in all 3 games we'll have to be at our best to get good results. It's possibly the most competitive of all the groups in the sense that all 4 teams will feel they have a good chance to qualify. Germany are one of the strongest teams in the world, but are not without their flaws either it has to be said, mainly in defence. Ghana are one of the better teams in Africa, great midfield and solid at the back, but not overly strong in attack. While the USA are competitive and physical and their players give everything, a bit like Sweden actually, not much individual quality but very much a collective unit and tough to beat.

So it won't be easy, but as others have already mentioned, the Selecao usually give their best when the opposition is of a high level. So as a result I'm confident of making it out of the group. The good news is that our group is tied to group H, and if we qualify, even second place, doesn't make much difference because I'd be confident of beating any of the teams from group H in the first knock out round. It's gonna be exciting whatever happens, Bring it on indeed!
Guess what?
16 Friday, 06 December 2013 20:15
Rui/ Dubai
I just downloaded the Excel format WC 2014 draw. If you make Portugal top the group and also Argentina the same then you have PORTUGAL VS ARGENTINA in finals. Very interesting. We have exactly 188 days to start dreaming. Forca Portugal!!!!
Prediction
15 Friday, 06 December 2013 19:59
Ahmad/Lebanon
I am now 100% sure that regardless of what happens against Germany Portugal will qualify to round 2. The key is being humble as a team and for the fans to be realistic; in normal circumstances there is no way in which Portugal would finish above Germany. Moreover as I'm seeing it will matter little. Portugal as second will most probably face Belgium in the second round, can we beat them? Sure but again let's be humble. ASSUMING we do go through as top of our group then most probably Portugal will meet France, the team that always seems to beat us at the big stage, while if Portugal finish second in the group the chances are Ronaldo will face Messi in the QF so either way it matters very little who will go through as top of group 7, France and Argentina possess equal threats.
Based on what was mentioned above, I predict Portugal to reach the QF and crash out to either France or Argentina. THAT BEING SAID, in case we do manage to reach the semis, and it could happen, then we must remember that one of Holland, Spain or Brazil would have already left the competition by now.
So why not dream big? Yes I predict the quarters but with a bit of luck and 'a home advantage' anything can happen. Oh and 4 more things:
1) Bento needs to step it up, he needs to start working and studying his opponents from now, there's barely any time to lose.
2) Let's pray that William Carvalho matures enormously in the remaining 6 months and represents himself as a player worthy to substitute Velose/Meireles and aid Moutinho a bit.
3) Let's pray that Nani does step up for the national team this time. Ronaldo is in the form of his life and all he needs is ONE winger on the other side to help him when things get tough, in other words Nani needs to produce magic against Germany and possible Belgium, France and Argentina.
4) Ronaldo stays fit. Ronaldo needs to win something big before the world cup while maintaining optimum health so that he can head to Brazil with a clear conscious and a thirst for glory.
A very good draw
14 Friday, 06 December 2013 19:38
Rui/ Dubai
I looked at the full draw and must say that we are i a great position to qualify to the last 8 stage. This is the WC and we must beat any team. Germany is tough for any team. But they along with Portugal have players that play for top teams of the best league. But I get some kind of feeling that it will Portugal and Ghana who come top of the group. Forca Portugal!
Fernando
13 Friday, 06 December 2013 19:38
Nelly
When is Fernando expected to be available for selection?

Portugal will go far if they figure out a way to defend set pieces. I think 90% of the goals we let in are from set pieces Germany in particular is lethal on set pieces.
Btw.
12 Friday, 06 December 2013 19:26
SupremoGino
I'd love for Ghana to qualify at the expense of Germany.

The passion their fans bring in around the area makes for a special atmosphere during the World Cups.

The Germans are just plain, arrogant, and expect to win anyway.
Goodbye Germany
11 Friday, 06 December 2013 19:09
Paulo/London
Can I stick my neck out and predict that Portugal and Ghana will go through? Germany will not be loving the heat and humidity in the north of Brazil!

Força Portugal!
Bento
10 Friday, 06 December 2013 19:01
jordan/canada
If Bento comes into this tournament with his usual, "Euro 2012" starting XI, we might as well start packing for home. I'm not saying Portugal is unworthy, as they very well are. Bento simply needs to use the absolute best players available. I think this starts with a change of formation.

Patricio and the back four are proven, and quite frankly, no players better or more experienced exist to fill those spots. Pereira (perhaps Almeida), Pepe, Alves, Coentrao remain as is. Secondly, given the recent performances and crucial integrity they bring to their clubs, Veloso ought to be dropped for Fernando (once he's naturalized) and WIlliam Carvalho. Fernando can play closest to the back four, and William can take the other side, playing a bit ahead of him. Moutinho should function as the attacking midfielder ahead, giving him ample space for going forward, also dropping back when need be (thus also dropping Meireles from the lineup). Ronaldo, Postiga, Nani? What can I really say about that. Eder is probably the best option at CF, but we all know he could never achieve starter status under Bento. Subs we can make: Bruma, Eder, Josue. Perhaps Nelson O on occasion.

Patricio
Pereira-Pepe-Alves-Coentrao
Fernando \ William
Moutinho
Nani-Postiga-Ronaldo

The other solution (because I don't believe Bento will change formation), is a much simpler one. Same formation as is, but involves dropping Veloso for Fernando (William could be brought on as a sub, for defensive coverage when protecting a lead eg. his debut vs Sweden), and dropping Meireles for Josue.

Patricio
Pereira-Pepe-Alves-Coentrao
Fernando
Josue-Moutinho
Nani-Postiga-Ronaldo

I feel the former tactic would do us best, especially in a group like this, and I hope Bento at least attempts to incorporate it into his plans in prep games leading into the WC. The latter would still give us a good chance, but doesn't quite play Portugal to the strengths they have at their disposal. My only belief is that keeping the current lineup would be a detriment to Portugal's progress in this tournament, and would likely see them eliminated in group stage.

In defense of Bento, during later qualifiers and the play-off games, he did at least show his willingness to involve and work in players like Josue and William, and does seem intent on capping Fernando when available. I have faith that he will play a strong team when the tournament comes around, and I have confident feeling in Portugal's success here. No matter what, we will all be behind them when the tournament comes, and I cannot wait til June. Forca Portugal!
We'll be alright
9 Friday, 06 December 2013 19:00
SupremoGino
I was undecided whether I'd prefer an easy group or not because as we know Portugal likes to play to the level of their opponents.

I agree Germany will be the perfect team to kick us into gear and we'll show maximum concentration from the start.

Obviously, our team needs some tweaks and we can't make realistic predictions until the 23-man selection is announced.

However. I'd agree with the common consensus that were favorites alongside Germany to progress through the group.

We've closed the gap on Germany in recent years. (3-1 loss, 2006. 3-2 loss, 2008. and losing 1-0 @ Euro 2012)

Last year's match in particular was evenly contested and deserved a draw.

As for Ghana and the United States, judging by the reaction.. USA fans are pissing their pants.

The black stars have some quality in Gyan, Muntari, Kevin-Prince, and Michael Essien that we should be wary of but their young and inexperienced defence are the achilles heel.

So my prediction is we'll challenge Germany for top spot while Ghana (3rd) and USA (4th) will round out the group respectively.

It should be a great tournament.

Força Portugal!
Not as tough as some think
8 Friday, 06 December 2013 18:31
Canada
Germany will be tough, as always, but we will compete. A tie is great and a loss is not the end. Its the games against the USA and Ghana that will decide if we go further. Give USA some credit for consistency, but they are consistently top 15 or so, no comaprison to Portugal, sorry to my American friends but that's a fact. If we can't beat USA and Ghana, then how can we even think about going deeper and meeting the giants? We've proven in big tournaments that we can beat anyone on any given day. I suggest Germany is a little nervous todayas top seed, and USA and Ghana will be hoping for the best. Forca Portugal
tough but good group
7 Friday, 06 December 2013 18:24
judao/qatar
i predicted this one and my predictions are spot on these days. i expect us to reach the final if bento gets the selection right and makes no bias choice.
Tough draw
6 Friday, 06 December 2013 18:20
jon/usa
As an American of Portuguese decent I am American first and Portuguese second, but when it comes to futebol, I'm 100% Portuguese. It's going to be incredibly awkward, I'm going to feel guilty, but I will be cheering for the Seleccao against my own country lol!

Germany is obviously going to be the favorites to top the group. A draw against them would actually be a tremendous result.

I am very familiar with the Americans: Strong, physical, disciplined, and full of heart, but they lack technical quality, creativity, and flair. They're obviously not as talented as the Portuguese, but they are just the type of team Portugal tends to struggle against. They'll sit back, defend as a unit and look to take advantage of counter-attacks and set-pieces. The US CAN beat Portugal.

We should also be favorites to beat Ghana, but like the US, they certainly won't be a pushover.

On paper, it looks like a very doable draw, but in reality, Portugal will have to be at their very best to advance. We cannot the US and Ghana lightly. If we do make it out of the group, we'll have a great chance of making it to at least the quarter finals.
Tough for Portugal
5 Friday, 06 December 2013 18:13
Sam/USA
This group makes me nervous. I hope Portugal is healthy because they will need to be against all 3 teams... my heart will be racing. If they don't also play discipline it will be a short tournament for them. And practice, practice, PRACTICE against set pieces. It drives me crazy how many goals they have allowed against set pieces because of being unorganized. Força Portugal
Bring it on
4 Friday, 06 December 2013 18:10
Matthew / USA
I don't relish the prospect of the Selecao facing off against my home country the USA, but hoping that Portugal win that one. The USA has plenty of time in the sun at the Olympics, we support Portugal at the World Cup in my house. :-)

Of course, the best scenario would be Portugal and the USA making to the knockout stages, but that is unlikely, to say the least.

If Portugal's players stay healthy, I think it's going to be a good match against Germany. If we can win that match, anything is possible.

Forca Portugal!
GREAT!
3 Friday, 06 December 2013 18:09
Kiko
Will need to hit the ground running but I think it's a good group.

1st match against Germany will mean that Portugal needs to head into the World Cup with 100% focus which can only be a good thing.

I think we have an advantage over Germany in that there's going to be a MASSIVE following of Portugal in Brazil. The entire Portuguese population of Brazil + more will definitely suit the national team right. On top of that, being in a Portuguese speaking country, I think our National Team can get settled in quicker at the training grounds too.

USA and Ghana won't be easy but if we can get a good result against Germany then it should motivate the team nicely to beat them!

Força!
Pace, fitness, and strategy
2 Friday, 06 December 2013 18:04
Marko - Canada
This is a tough group for Portugal. I hope Bento starts thinking of a Portuguese national team and strategy that will allow Portugal to deal with the extreme pace and fitness of all three of these teams.

I hope in the warm up matches we'll start playing fast paced teams and not easy wins.

It may be a better draw for Portugal, in that mentally there are no easy teams.

Viva Portugal!
doable
1 Friday, 06 December 2013 18:03
Monah/Dubai
Well, it' very early but I am excited! Let's finish second in the group to avoid Brazil or Germany till the end!
Second in the group means that we'll face either Belgium or Russia in the second round, a game we can win.

Then, surely Argentina will top its group, and we'll be facing them in the quarterfinal. Spain topping their group, winning their matches will end them up playing us in the semi. And we'll play Brazil or Germany in the final!

Let's dream!
Forca Portugal!

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