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World Cup 2014 power rankings: Holland top after first round of games

June 19, 2014 14:06
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1) Holland

Top of the pile after embarrassing a full-strength Spain side: the current world and European champions – easily the result of the round. From three to five at the back, it isn’t quite total football, but will keep even the best teams guessing.

Possession: 36.1% (28th). Passing accuracy: 81.4% (22nd). Shooting accuracy: 76.9% (1st). Shots faced: 10 (9th=).



2) Germany

Miss out on the top spot only because their win was against 10 men. Should now steamroll the group and likely to face a relatively weak Group H runner-up in last-16, and France in the quarter-finals. An easy draw. Who needs strikers anyway?

Possession: 56.5% (11th). Passing accuracy: 88.9% (6th). Shooting accuracy: 66.7% (3rd). Shots faced: 13 (14th).


3) France

A new age for Les Bleus: only three of the team that thrashed Honduras played in 2010. Didn’t appear to miss Franck Ribéry and have arguably the easiest route to the quarter finals than any other team. Karim Benzema is on top form.

Possession: 70.8% (1st). Passing accuracy: 91.0% (2nd). Shooting accuracy: 33.3% (20th). Shots faced: 4 (2nd).

4) Italy

Beat Costa Rica and the Azzurri all but progress from the group. Whisper it, but the early pessimism surrounding their chances echoes that of 2006. The return of Mario Balotelli’s mojo and Gianluigi Buffon may be back for the upcoming games.

Possession: 55.5% (13th). Passing accuracy: 93.2% (1st). Shooting accuracy: 33.3% (21st). Shots faced: 18 (26th=).


5) Argentina

Remains the most frightening attack but signs against Bosnia-Herzegovina that their defence could come unstuck – surely Lionel Messi cannot bail them out every match. Or can he? The manager, Alejandro Sabella, still does not appear to know if 5-3-2 or 4-3-3 works best.

Possession: 59.0% (8th). Passing accuracy: 90.2% (4th). Shooting accuracy: 22.2% (29th). Shots faced: 16 (23rd).


6) Colombia

Could not have hoped for a better start with their biggest ever World Cup win in a relatively weak group. Radamel Falcao may be absent but they celebrated their goals with a togetherness that usually carries a team deep into the competition. Greece, in fairness though, were desperately poor.

Possession: 48.1% (18th). Passing accuracy: 82.6% (19th). Shooting accuracy: 54.5% (10th). Shots faced: 11 (13th).


7) Chile

No injuries (apart from Arturo Vidal but he is on the mend), no suspensions and three points on the board. A tough group but likely only to need a draw against Spain to qualify and have a counter-attacking game not dissimilar from the Dutch technique which tore the Spanish apart.

Possession: 64.7% (4th). Passing accuracy: 86.1% (11th). Shooting accuracy: 71.4% (2nd). Shots faced: 13 (15th).


8) Brazil

A win and a draw, even if they have been more laboured than fans would have hoped for. Home advantage means they remain the bookies’ favourites but Chile or Spain are likely last-16 opponents while Hulk remains an injury doubt and Fred out of form and out of touch.

Possession: 57.2% (10th). Passing accuracy: 84.7% (13th). Shooting accuracy: 54.5% (8th). Shots faced: 25 (31st*).


9) Spain

Despite a heavy defeat to Holland, only a fool would write off the holders and European champions, who also lost their opening game on their way to victory four years ago. The strongest squad in the tournament means that Vicente del Bosque’s promised changes should not weaken them against Chile.

Possession: 63.9% (5th). Passing accuracy: 87.2% (10th). Shooting accuracy: 50.0% (12th=). Shots faced: 14 (22nd).

10) Croatia

Sneaking inside the top 10 despite defeat in their opening match as they showed glimpses of brilliance against Brazil, only to be undone by refereeing decisions. Luka Modric has not trained because of a foot injury but should recover in time for Cameroon, while Mario Mandzukic returns from suspension.

Possession: 39.1% (24th). Passing accuracy: 78.3% (27th). Shooting accuracy: 30.0% (26th). Shots faced: 14 (21st).


11) Mexico

An opening victory followed by an impressive performance against the hosts has put Mexico in a decent position ahead of their final crunch match against Croatia, all without conceding a goal in the tournament so far, mainly due to the brilliance of Guillermo Ochoa in goal.

Possession: 54.2% (14th). Passing accuracy: 82.6% (18th). Shooting accuracy: 30.0% (25th). Shots faced: 27 (32nd*).


12) Belgium

Belgium deserved their win against Algeria even if the performance did not always live up to the high standards expected of one of the more favoured European teams at the tournament. A reasonably easy group on paper should see them progress. Eden Hazard was relatively quiet in the opening game but has the potential to be one of the stars.

Possession: 67.1%(3rd). Passing accuracy: 88.5% (7th). Shooting accuracy: 53.3% (11th). Shots faced: 3 (1st).


13) England

A defeat, but at least England looked like a team that wanted to reinvent itself, with Raheem Sterling key to the freshness. A nervy week ahead for Roy Hodgson: Thursday’s opponents Uruguay looked vulnerable in their opener, but Costa Rica may yet provide an unwelcome sting in the tail.

Possession: 44.5% (19th). Passing accuracy: 90.8% (3rd). Shooting accuracy: 31.3%(24th). Shots faced: 13 (16th=).


14) Costa Rica

Jorge Luis Pinto’s side shocked Uruguay in their first game but it was not as if they did not thoroughly deserve their victory. After a quiet first half they exploded in the second half with Joel Campbell the outstanding performer. May struggle against Italy but could well draw or even beat England in their last group game.

Possession: 44.3% (20th). Passing accuracy: 77.9% (28th). Shooting accuracy: 33.3% (21st=). Shots faced: 9 (6th=).



15) Ivory Coast

A crucial win against a difficult opponent has put Sabri Lamouchi’s team in a strong position in Group C. Lamouchi was brave enough to start Didier Drogba, still not fully recovered from injury, on the bench and has hinted that Wilfried Bony will keep his place up front. Ivory Coast has quality in every department.

Possession: 57.7% (9th). Passing accuracy: 89.0% (5th). Shooting accuracy: 35.7% (19th). Shots faced: 7 (3rd).


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