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World Cup Update
Written by Far_Post on Thursday, 19th Jun 2014 15:00

With the group stages now well under way, we take a look at what the talking points have been during the first week in Brazil.

Is that Shaving Foam??

It’s a scenario we were all familiar with, whenever a free kick was given around the edge of the penalty area. Ref places the ball down, turns and measures out the 10 yards, the opposition then assemble their wall in the correct position before waiting until the referee turns his back and shuffle a yard or two forward negating the need to measure it in the first place. It was the same the world over.

Well at long last the Ref’s are fighting back with an invention from journalist Pablo Silva which is a new ‘vanishing spray’ that refs can use to mark spots on the field and prevent players from moving forward. I am not sure if it is the sight of overpaid footballers upset about getting shaving foam on their new boots but I quite like it. Whether it will catch on in the Premier League or just remain a characteristic of this World Cup similar to the Vuvuzela in South Africa remains to be seen.

Shocks

Uruguay losing their opener to Costa Rica was certainly a surprise result as Group D was very much considered a 3 horse race between Italy, England and Uruguay. However the result of the tournament so far has to be current World & European Champions Spain on the wrong end of a 5-1 hammering to the Netherlands. Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben inspired the Dutch to produce an electric second half performance, and with Chile and Australia to come you would fancy them to stroll into the knockout stages where they are likely to play Mexico. Spain on the other hand if they do manage to qualify could then set up a mouth watering tie against hosts Brazil.

England

Roy Hodgson’s decision to play Wayne Rooney on the left hand side of midfield was probably the deciding factor in a tight opening game against Italy. England Full back Leighton Baines was offered limited protection all night against the Italian wide players and it was from that side that Candreva was able to cross for Balotelli to nod the winner past former team mate Joe Hart. On the plus side Raheem Sterling looked promising in his competitive debut as did Ross Barkley when he made his appearance as a second half substitute. A positive result against Uruguay is a must in what is sure to be a fiercely contested fixture otherwise an early exit is on the cards.

Swans players at the WC

We have already mentioned the great win for the Netherlands in their opening fixture. Jonathan De Guzman started the game for Louis Van Gaal’s side and put in a decent showing before being taken off in the second half. Michel Vorm was an unused substitute as Cillessen continues as number 1 choice between the sticks. Ki Sung-Yeung played the full 90 minutes for South Korea in their draw with Russia which keeps them very much in contention with Algeria and Belgium to come. Wilfried Bony’s goal for the Ivory Coast would have maintained his appeal amongst those interested in signing him this summer. Those hoping our star striker would remain under the radar this tournament may be cringing at the thought of him bringing his Swansea City form to the World Cup.

Who is going to win it?

Hosts Brazil have looked unconvincing so far so I will stick with my tip prior to the tournament which was Germany. They started off their campaign with a convincing 4-0 thumping of Portugal which was no fluke when you look at the quality of their squad. Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich grabbing a hat-trick. They shouldn’t face too much opposition until the Quarter Final stage where France could be waiting. Germany – England Semi Final anyone?







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