England and others make it to the 2014 World Cup Finals
England will be at the 2014 World Cup finals following a successful final flourish to their qualifying campaign. However, they will be heading there not as one of the favourites this time as bookmakers have left them dangling at long odds to go out and win at Brazil 2014. Because of their poor standing in the FIFA World Rankings, Roy Hodgson’s men won’t be one of the seeded teams at the tournament, which means that they will come up against a tough group opponent, which could be anyone from Brazil to Argentina. That is not going to make qualification to the knockout stages any easier for them.
Online betting site Bet365 have left England at odds of 20/1 to go out and win the next World Cup and it looks to be a reasonable price as well. England bombed in the round of sixteen at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, following a mighty struggle to get out of their group against Slovenia, Algeria and the United States. It wasn’t pretty to watch and while England have come a long way since then, and are now turning more and more to their youth, they perhaps are still a long way short of the quality needed to win the tournament. But they are they at least and that is one massive hurdle out of the way.
Joining England at the 2014 FIFA World Cup from the UEFA zone will be Germany, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Russia along with Bosnia and Herzegovina. There will be a play off round again for the best of the runners up. Denmark were the unlucky losers as finishing as the weakest of the nine group runner’s up, so they miss out on a shot at the play offs. There are some big teams in the play offs which will be played across November 15th and November 19th, 2013.
In Pot 1 of the play off draw will be Portugal, Greece, Croatia and the Ukraine, and they will be each drawn against a nation from Pot 2 which contains France, Sweden, Romania and Iceland. So there could be some tough matches there, with no-one in Pot 1 wanting to face France or Sweden.
Who else have made it to the 2014 World Cup Finals along with hosts Brazil? The conclusion of the CONCACAF Zone was dramatic, with a win for the United States over Panama (thanks to two injury time goals) allowing Mexico to squeeze through into fourth place (at the expense of Panama) which means that El Tri will face a play off against New Zealand, winner of the Oceania qualifiers. Booking automatic qualification from the CONCACAF zone therefore, were the United States, Costa Rica and Honduras.
The race for some of the qualifying spots from CONMEBOL was comfortably settled by Argentina a while ago, who were joined by Colombia before the final round of matches. Three teams were still in with a chance of taking the other two qualifying spots come the final round of matches. It was Chile and Ecuador who made it through at the expense of Uruguay, who despite a final 3-2 win over Argentina, were edged into fifth place on goal difference. That means La Celeste now have to face up against Jordan in a play off for a place at the World Cup Finals.
From the AFC, Japan, Australia, Iran and South Korea will be heading to Brazil, with their other representative, Jordan as mentioned, going up against Mexico in the play offs. So that is the standing of the teams entering the action at Brazil 2014, the draw for which will be held in Brazil on December 6th. That is when England will discover their fate. Will it be a group of death for them? Or will they be handed a helping hand in being able to make it through to the knockout stages?