Eurosport Roundtable: Who will be the World Cup’s surprise package?

The Rio Report

View photo

.

In the latest World Cup Roundtable, our experts give us their picks of the teams who might surprise a few people at the World Cup this summer...

Roundtable: What was your favourite World Cup?

- - -

Alex Chick (Twitter: @alex_eurosport):

Switzerland - A fine young team full of talented players, with a legendary coach in Ottmar Hitzfeld and a pretty kind draw. If they can avoid Argentina in the second round the Swiss could go a very long way.

Tom Adams (Twitter: @tomEurosport):

Chile - Admittedly they are in a very tough group along with Spain, Netherlands and Australia, but if - if - they can make it into the last-16, Chile will be a fearsome prospect. Tactically flexible, with a great team spirit, they also have the added bonus of being South American which is a huge advantage in a tournament held on the continent. Alexis Sanchez is the star name but the abiding memory of a 2-0 win at Wembley in November was a bravura team display. Given the chance, they could go far.

Sean Fay (Twitter: @Sean_Fay):

USA - I like USA and Japan to both overachieve as they are not as reliant on European-based players and have been able to properly prepare for the World Cup. Fitness is going to be a big issue and there has been a lot of football played by the European stars in the last 12 months. Nobody seems to give USA a chance of getting out of their group with Portugal, Germany and Ghana, but I have my doubts about Portugal (too reliant on a questionably fit Ronaldo) and Germany (look tired, lack of strikers). If USA can beat Ghana in their first game, and pick up a bit of momentum, then they could get out of the group and should provide at least a competitive match for anyone else they face after that.

Liam Happe (Twitter: @liamhappe):

Bosnia – Dzeko and Pjanic spearhead a side who seldom qualify for the World Cup, and thus you’d think they’d just be grateful to be part of it. Wrong. They have the squad, the spirit and the form to ruffle some feathers, even though anything past the quarter-finals seems very unlikely. Bosnia stand a great chance of being the feelgood hit of the Brazil tournament.

Dan Quarrell (Twitter: @Dan_Eurosport):

France - Not expected to do anything after limping through to the finals very unconvincingly, France will thrive in being written off and underestimated. Didier Deschamps has put team spirit and unity above all else, hoping to draw on the attitude and togetherness which so helped his side triumph back in 1998. It will not take France beyond the semi-finals, but the team has enough quality to prove a lot of people wrong and gain some momentum and good feeling ahead of the crucial next Euros for Deschamps's side.

Marcus Foley (Twitter: @mmjfoley):

Colombia - They are stocked with exciting forward talent from youngster Juan Fernando Quintero – who helped Colombia win their third South American Under-20 title in 2013 – to more established stars such as Carlos Bacca, Jackson Martinez and James Rodriguez. Not only that but they also managed to emerge from the South American qualifying with the most frugal defence on their way to recording a record points haul of 30 from 16 games. The loss of Falcao inevitably dimmed some of the initial enthusiasm surrounding this side but, make no bones about, they remain a considerable threat to claim the trophy come July 13.

What do you think? Add your voice to the Roundtable discussion below...

View comments (11)