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Match Previews

World Cup 2014 Group E Preview

8 June 2014

By Rhys Griffiths

The World Cup in Brazil is just days away and in the run-up to the tournament we're taking a daily look at each of the eight groups. Today we look at Group E, which contains two European sides and two teams from the Americas.


Switzerland cruised through their qualification group unbeaten and secured their place in Brazil with a game to spare. But while Ottmar Hitzfeld's side have been successfully keeping it tight at the back, they have found goals harder to come by since the international retirement of all-time leading goalscorer Alexander Frei. Key members of the squad to keep an eye on will be striker Haris Seferovic and Kosovo-born midfielders Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri.


The majority of Ecuador's success in qualifying for Brazil came at home, with visiting sides finding it tough to come away with anything from their visits to Quito thanks to the tough conditions of the world's highest capital city. Away from home, however, Reinaldo Rueda's side have struggled and it will need big performances from the likes of Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia if La Tri are to match their previous World Cup best, reaching the last 16 in 2006.


The French will head to Brazil hoping to erase the memory of a tempestuous World Cup in South Africa four years ago, at which Nicolas Anelka was booted out of the camp following a bust-up with boss Raymond Domenech and Les Bleus followed him home without a single victory. Now coach Didier Deschamps, captain of the triumphant 1998 World Cup-winning side, will hope to create a sense of unity in the camp, and the decision to leave Manchester City's Samir Nasri at home signals just how serious the manager is about the need for harmony in Brazil. Key figures in the French squad - which has lost the attacking threat of Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery to injury on the eve of the tournament - include Paul Pogba of Juventus and Real Madrid's Karim Benzema.


Honduras are yet to win a game in two previous World Cup appearances - in 1982 and 2010 - and it is tough to see them making it out of the group this time around. The squad assembled by Los Catrachos boss Luis Fernando Suarez lacks any great depth, but Stoke City's Wilson Palacios, Wigan Athletic's Juan Carlos Garcia and Hull City's Maynor Figueroa will be familiar to fans in England.

Group E Fixtures (all times UK)

June 15, 17:00: Switzerland v Ecuador - Estadio Nacional, Brasilia
June 15, 20:00: France v Honduras - Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre
June 20, 20:00: Switzerland v France - Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
June 20, 23:00: Honduras v Ecuador - Arena da Baixada, Curitiba
June 25, 21:00: Honduras v Switzerland - Arena Amazonia, Manaus
June 25, 21:00: Ecuador v France - Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro

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