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World Cup 2014 team profiles: GERMANY

Northwich Guardian: BRAZIL BOUND: Miroslav Klose has been confirmed in Germany's World Cup squad

5:50pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

WERE this World Cup taking place in Europe, it's quite possible that Germany would be clear favourites.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: PORTUGAL

Northwich Guardian: WORLD'S BEST: Portugal midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo

5:52pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

MUCH will depend on how Ronaldo, the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, performs in Brazil.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: SOUTH KOREA

Northwich Guardian: Chung-Yong Lee playing for South Korea at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa,

6:22pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

FINISHING second behind Iran and ahead of three nations who have never ventured to a World Cup during qualification hardly warrants much praise, while their recent friendly results won't exactly strike fear into Belgium, Russia or Algeria.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: RUSSIA

Northwich Guardian: World Cup 2014 team profiles: RUSSIA

6:18pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

THERE'S no doubt Russia should expect to at least reach the last 16 and the odds suggest it'll be between them and Belgium for the top spot in Group H.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: ALGERIA

Northwich Guardian: Nabil Bentaleb in action for Algeria against Armenia. Picture: Action Images

6:13pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

ALGERIA are clearly no pushovers - as they proved in South Africa when conceding just two goals in a group including England, USA and Slovenia - but you just have to question whether they can do something they failed to do so four years ago and actually score one themselves.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: BELGIUM

Northwich Guardian: Chelsea's Eden Hazard makes his World Cup bow with Belgium

6:10pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

IT'S certainly a one-off that a European team which has failed to qualify for a major tournament since the 2002 World Cup can generally be regarded as fifth favourites to win football's greatest crown - but I guess that's what happens when a perfect storm of a 'golden generation' comes together at exactly the right time.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: USA

Northwich Guardian: Gordon Greer tussles with USA striker Jozy Altidore last night

6:00pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

USA know they've been dealt a tough hand in this group.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: GHANA

Northwich Guardian: ENGLAND 1 SUNDERLAND 1: Gyan celebrates his late leveller at Wembley last night.

5:56pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

IT is an experienced Ghana squad which will tackle the 'group of death' in Brazil.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: NIGERIA

Northwich Guardian: BRAZIL BOUND: Shola Ameobi has been confirmed in Nigeria's final World Cup squad

5:46pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

NIGERIA are a very hard side to weigh up.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: IRAN

Northwich Guardian: Reza Ghoochannejhad is thwarted by a timely challenge. Picture by Keith Gillard.

5:42pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

IRAN enter the World Cup as underdogs in Group F and it's hard to see anything but an early exit.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Northwich Guardian: Miralem Pjanic on international duty with Bosnia. Picture: Action Images

5:37pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

I THINK Bosnia are going to be one of the success stories of this World Cup.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: ARGENTINA

Northwich Guardian: Lionel Messi

5:34pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

THERE is rightly lots of optimism about Argentina's chances of World Cup glory and I'm certain they will be one of the most entertaining teams to watch this summer.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: FRANCE

Northwich Guardian: Hugo Lloris claims a high ball for France against Paraguay. Picture: Action Images

5:20pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

THE decision not to pick Samir Nasri for the French squad is an indication of Didier Deschamps' ruthlessness, though the Manchester City midfielder's omission wasn't a major surprise.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: ECUADOR

Northwich Guardian: Pablo Armero in action for Colombia against Ecuador. Picture: Action Images

5:13pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

IF France turn up with their A-game then Ecuador look like being in a straight shoot-out with Switzerland for the second qualifying spot.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: SWITZERLAND

Northwich Guardian: SECOND BEST: Darren Bent is beaten to the ball by Switzerland's Philippe Senderos.

4:51pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

SWITZERLAND will likely be fighting for second spot with Ecuador behind France in Group E.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: HONDURAS

Northwich Guardian: FALL GUY: Ross Barkley is sent sprawling by a challenge from Salvador Bernardez as Honduras lose their discipline after the break

5:30pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

MANY Honduras players ply their trade in England and Scotland; namely Juan Carlos Garcia and Roger Espinoza at Wigan, Maynor Figueroa at Hull, Wilson Palacios at Stoke, Emilio Izaguirre at Celtic and Arnold Peralta at Rangers.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: ENGLAND

Northwich Guardian: OBSESSION: Roy Hodgson claims the country is "obsessed" with Wayne Rooney, pictured during Friday's friendly win over Peru

5:22pm Friday 6th June 2014

FROM Stephen Hawking to your barber and every stop inbetween, everyone has an opinion on England.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: ITALY

Northwich Guardian: Etienne Capoue in action against Mario Balotelli. Picture: Action Images

5:33pm Friday 6th June 2014

IN the past, it's been pretty easy to know what to expect from Italy at a World Cup.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: URUGUAY

Northwich Guardian: Luis Suarez scores for Uruguay

4:50pm Friday 6th June 2014

URUGUAY should prove an exceptionally difficult side to beat and represent a real obstacle for both England and Italy to overcome.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: COSTA RICA

Northwich Guardian: Lloyd Doyley in action against Costa Rica. Picture: Action Images

4:55pm Friday 6th June 2014

COSTA Rica were considered dark horses by some judges before the World Cup draw, and while it's not going to be easy for them, I'm keen not to rule them out.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: JAPAN

Northwich Guardian: Maya Yoshida

4:31pm Wednesday 4th June 2014

IT'S hard to argue with odds of 150/1 about Japan going all the way in Brazil this summer as while they've become something of World Cup finals regulars since qualifying for the first time in 1998, they have only progressed beyond the group stage twice.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: IVORY COAST

Northwich Guardian: Didier Drogba

4:17pm Wednesday 4th June 2014

RANKED by FIFA as the 21st best team in the world, splitting Croatia and Scotland, and priced at 150/1 for World Cup glory, Ivory Coast are not expected to rip up any trees in Brazil this summer.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: COLOMBIA

Northwich Guardian: Pablo Armero in action for Colombia against Ecuador. Picture: Action Images

3:48pm Wednesday 4th June 2014

GROUP C's seeds qualified for the finals in tremendous style, the introduction of Argentinian manager Jose Pekerman after just three games clearly having a positive effect on the squad.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: GREECE

Northwich Guardian: Vassilis Torosidis scores Greece’s winner against Nigeria

3:52pm Wednesday 4th June 2014

THERE'S a strong sense that moving on from Otto Rehhagel, who so famously guided the national side to European Championship glory in 2004, provided a boost to the Greece team and they impressed under Portuguese boss Fernando Santos when reaching the quarter-finals at Euro 2012 and during their World Cup qualification campaign.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: SPAIN

Northwich Guardian: Juan Mata celebrates with the Euro 2012 trophy

3:32pm Tuesday 3rd June 2014

IT is a little harsh to be critical of a nation that is the reigning world and dual European champions but they did not get things all their own way in qualification.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: AUSTRALIA

Northwich Guardian: Tim Cahill celebrates his goal to make it 1-0

3:55pm Tuesday 3rd June 2014

EXPECTATIONS for Australia are extremely low, and it would go down as one of the biggest shocks in the tournament's history were they to get out of a group which includes the Netherlands and Spain.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: CHILE

Northwich Guardian: Picture from the international friendly between England and Chile. The unauthorised, downloading, editing, copying, or distribution of this image is strictly prohibited.

3:49pm Tuesday 3rd June 2014

CHILE certainly have something about them this year and can be considered one of the dark horses for a tournament staged on their own continent.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: NETHERLANDS

Northwich Guardian: Holland striker Robin van Persie takes on Denmark opponent Simon Kjaer

3:43pm Tuesday 3rd June 2014

THIS will be a fascinating swansong for Louis van Gaal at the helm for the Dutch national side ahead of taking over at Manchester United.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: CAMEROON

Northwich Guardian: Samuel Eto'o celebrates scoring for Chelsea. Picture: Action Images

3:20pm Tuesday 3rd June 2014

THIS may be the weakest Cameroon squad to reach a World Cup finals. They could easily have missed out on qualification had Togo not selected an ineligible player, turning a 2-0 defeat for Cameroon into a 3-0 victory.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: MEXICO

Northwich Guardian: Javier Hernandez celebrates putting Mexico ahead during their shock win over France

3:13pm Tuesday 3rd June 2014

MEXICO have gone out in the last 16 at the last five World Cups. They will be looking to finally go further but look to have a tough task just to match that achievement.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: CROATIA

Northwich Guardian: REAL DEAL: Croatia and Real Madrid star Luka Modric

3:02pm Tuesday 3rd June 2014

BOASTING a squad that combines technical skill and plenty of industry, qualification from the group stage will be a minimum target for Croatia.

World Cup 2014 team profiles: BRAZIL

Northwich Guardian: Neymar

11:06am Tuesday 3rd June 2014

TOURNAMENT hosts Brazil are always an exciting team to watch but can the likes of Neymar, Hulk and David Luiz taste World Cup glory this year?




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