World Cup Group F Preview

Thomas Niedermueller

Argentina should advance with ease, who will join them?

Nigeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran will have to scratch and claw their way into the knockout stages with 1 spot surely taken by Argentina.

How they got to Brazil

Bosnia-Herzegovina - Finished first place in UEFA Group G

It's Bosnia's first ever world cup appearance so it is hard to judge how they will perform, but topping a group in UEFA speaks for itself.  Currently ranked 25 by FIFA.

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

Date/Time (ET) Home Away Venue
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.

John Obi Mikel (Nigeria) - The Chelsea man will be the central point for Nigeria attacks. On top of that, he is also a great defender and will help shut down the likes of Dzeko and Messi.

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....

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