How they got to Brazil
Bosnia-Herzegovina - Finished first place in UEFA Group G
Nigeria - Qualified through CAF playoff by defeating Ethiopia 4-1
Currently ranked 44th by FIFA, Nigeria enters the tournament with a 4-8-2 all-time record looking to improve on that mark.
Iran - Finished top in AFC Group A
They are 1-6-2 all time at the World Cup Finals while never advancing past the group stage and ranked only 37th by FIFA.
Argentina - Finished in first in CONMEBOL
Argentina are definitely favorites entering ranked 7th by FIFA and carrying a 37-20-13 record at the Final Tournament.
Schedule of Games
Schedule of Games
|June 15 | 3 PM||Argentina||Bosnia-Herzegovnia||Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro|
|June 16 | 3 PM||Iran||Nigeria||Arena da Baixada, Curitiba|
|June 21 | 12 PM||Argentina||Iran||Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte|
|June 21 | 6 PM||Bosnia-Herzegovnia||Nigeria||Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá|
|June 25 | 12 PM||Nigeria||Argentina||Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre|
|June 25 | 12 PM||Bosnia-Herzegovnia||Iran||Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador|
Key Players in the Group
Lionel Messi (Argentina) - Hard to pass by on one of the greatest players of all time. Although other players may be key to taking pressure off of Messi against teams of greater quality, the task of advancing through this group will be resting on Messi's shoulders.
Eden Dzeko (Bosnia) - For a team that will likely be on their back foot for large portions of matches, the finishing quality of Dzeko will likely be key to Bosnia's success.
Game of the Group
Nigeria against Bosnia has got to the game to watch if you only choose one. It may only be the second match for either side, but I'd put money on the winner (if they don't draw) of the match advancing and the loser catching an early flight home.
X-Factor in Group F
Experience. Bosnia has no experience at this tournament while Argentina has a vast quantity of experience. Nigeria and Iran will have to use their small portions of experience at the World Cup Finals to their advantage if they hope to make it out of the group stage.
Final thoughts and predictions
I'm not a Lio Messi fan in the slightest, but the kids got undeniable talent. Argentina finish top of the group with 9 points and 0 goals conceded. It's a crap-shoot after that, but I believe Bosnia has the talent, although lacks experience, to find themselves in the knockout rounds. I expect Bosnia to advance through this group whether it is through goal difference or straight up points, I expect them to advance over Iran and Nigeria. Nigeria will again disappoint at the tournament and will not advance. Let's be honest guys, does Iran have any chance at all? Nah....