Here’s part 2 of our World Cup guide – catch Part 1 here.
Manager: Ottmar Hitzfeld
Key man: Xherdan Shaqiri
Switzerland are the footballing equivalent of Ed Milliband; largely dull but capable of stealing the limelight with an awkward finish (see their opening World Cup triumph v Spain in 2010).
Xherdan Shaqiri may sound like a Samurai from Kill Bill Vol 2 but he’s actually a mild-mannered theatregoer who enjoys a spot of herbal tea.
Manager: Reinaldo Rueda
Key man: Felipe Caicedo
Reinaldo Rueda’s men are a potential banana-skin for their group E counterparts, a conclusion drawn from the fact Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas… duh.
Antonio Valencia is the ever-present figure having dodged a scything tackle from Raheem ‘chopper’ Sterling in warm up. Felipe Caicedo has struck an effective partnership with Valencia citing the winger’s ‘good delivery’ as the key. RVP got wind of the comments and had a good laugh.
Manager: Didier Deschamps
Key man: Yohan Cabaye
Manager Didier Deschamps is understandably shaken by losing his star player to injury and having Nasri’s missus call him a shithead within the space of a few weeks. The French won’t want a repeat of the farcical inter-team fallout of the last campaign, though they’ll still exercise their right to go on strike as is the national custom. France will be striking if the opposition is awarded too many corners, a penalty, or if they are unduly upset/offended/insulted in any way, shape or form.
Yohan Cabaye needs to step up in the absence of Franck RibÃ©ry. RibÃ©ry’s injury is a blow to enthusiasts and females who were hoping for a bit of eye candy.
Manager: Luis Fernando SuÃ¡rez
Key man: Andy Najar
Honduras’s ploy is to go unnoticed and then jump out from nowhere much like they do on an atlas. Their warrior mentality was typified in the build up when Emilio Izaguirre heroically kicked the ball into Sturridge’s nads whilst he lay spread-eagled on the turf.
Wilson Palacios will be showing Stoke why they should start him more often up by inflicting GBH on anyone who comes within three feet of him.
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