We are more than halfway through our preview of World Cup 2014, as today we tackle Group F. Top to bottom, this is one of the weakest groups in the tournament, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking for stars. Some of English football’s best players will be doing battle in this group, and there’s also that little guy who plays for Barcelona. Let’s break down Group F of World Cup 2014!

Argentina National Flag Argentina

Can’t Miss Talent

Lionel Messi- Calling the obvious police here. Messi is undoubtedly the best player in the world at this point, and the 26-year-old is in the prime of his career. Messi has improved leaps and bounds over the past four years, having put together a record breaking 91-goal season for FC Barcelona in that time, and perhaps most importantly, he has Sergio Aguero on the other side. Speaking of which….

Rising Star

Sergio Aguero– I wasn’t planning on putting Aguero here, as he is already an established presence as the lead striker for EPL Champions Manchester City. But Argentina is fielding a rather experienced roster, and at 25 years old, Aguero is actually one of the youngest players on the team. Bottom line, these two combine to make the most lethal attack in World Cup 2014, and Argentina will go as far as these two will take them.

The Key for the Argentinians

Argentina has had virtually identical World Cups the past two times around. They have cruised fairly easily on their way to the Quarterfinals, where they ran into a brick wall called Germany both times. In other words, the key for Argentina is to avoid the Germans, or perhaps the third time will be the charm if they meet the Germans at the same point on their home continent.

How Far Can They Go

The pressure is on Argentina, a team that has fell short of lofty expectations in recent memory. I don’t see that happening this time around. This squad is full of experienced players, and for guys like Aguero, it will simply be about staying healthy and staying out there. If they can do that, Argentina is fully capable of hoisting the trophy at the end. It would be a shock if they collapse and don’t make it out of the second round, but crazier things have happened.

Bosnia Bosnia and Herzegovina

Can’t Miss Talent

Edin Dzeko– The lanky striker is without question the most famous Bosnian footballer in the world. For the past few years, Dzeko has been netting goals for one of the best teams in Europe, Manchester City. Dzeko saw an increased role this season with the injuries of Aguero and the inconsistency of Alvaro Negredo. Dzeko has 33 goals in 60 caps on the national team, and if they can make some noise in World Cup 2014, Dzeko will be the reason why.

Dzeko-Key-World-Cup-2014

Rising Star

Miralem Pjanic– The 24-year-old midfielder is the leader in the middle for this Bosnian side, and he will be the main one responsible to get the ball in space to Dzeko and the other strikers on the team. Pjanic has been playing for Roma since 2011, and has scored 12 goals there, along with eight goals for the national team. In a group with many inexperienced players, Pjanic could prove invaluable in winnable games against Iran and Nigeria.

The Key for the Bosnians

Bosnia and Herzegovina likely didn’t expect to be favorites to get top two in their group before the draw, but that’s exactly where they find themselves. However, they could quickly find themselves behind the eight ball, as they start off with Argentina, while Nigeria and Iran face off on the other game. If Bosnia falls, and one of those teams gets a win, Bosnia will need to play catchup, which could be dangerous for a team that has no World Cup experience.

How Far Can They Go

Bosnia and Herzegovina will likely face either France or Switzerland if they are able to navigate their way through the group stage, a game that they would have a shot at winning. However, we’ve said it before, and we’ve said it again: experience is so vital in the World Cup, and while Bosnia has players who have experience on the big stage in the club level, they don’t have that in the World Cup. This team has second round ceiling written all over them, but every cup there is a surprise team, and this one could very well be it.

Iran Iran

Can’t Miss Talent

Javad Nekounam– The midfield captain has more than four times the international goals as anyone else on his team, so needless to say, his pick as the can’t miss talent was a slam dunk. Nekounam is 33 years old, and over that time, he has amassed a ridiculous 137 international caps. Whether he will be able to will his team to a win or two remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt he’s one of the most well versed players in the field.

Rising Star

Reza Ghoochannejhad– We were tempted to put Karim Ansarifard here, as he is two years younger then Ghoochannejhad, but we went with Ghoochannejhad for sheer productivity. While it’s a small sample size, Ghoochannejhad has scored a blistering nine goals in just 11 appearances on the international level. Iran will need this scoring ability if they want to make noise in this group.

The Key for the Iranians

All things considered, Iran got the best draw they could ask for. Iran has never made it out of the group stage, and while it’s unlikely they will do it this time around, it’s probably the best chance they’ve had, and it all starts with game #1 against Nigeria. If Iran can pull off the upset, they will certainly turn some heads, and if they can manage a draw against Bosnia, they just might sneak out of the group.

How Far Can They Go

Anything more than a second round appearance for this team would be the biggest surprise in all of World Cup 2014.

Nigeria-Flag-300x200 Nigeria

Can’t Miss Talent

John Obi Mikel– The Nigerian squad is surprisingly talented, and the Chelsea midfielder is at the head of that movement. The 27-year-old has logged 206 appearances for Premiere League powerhouse Chelsea, and while he has scored just one goal with them, he has quadrupled that effort in Nigerian colors in less than a quarter of the starts.

Rising Star

South Africa African Cup Soccer

Victor Moses- We have another Nigerian who cuts his teeth on the biggest stage in English football, this time for Chelsea and with Liverpool this past season. Moses has been more effective finding the net, scoring six goals on the international level and a pair of goals for his English teams. Moses will be a key component for this African squad if they are to make it out of the group.

The Key for the Nigerians

You can basically cut and paste this section from the Iran write up. It really all comes down to the first game for Nigeria, a must-win against Iran. If they are able to pull that off, Nigeria is fully capable of getting a result against B&H and even against powerhouse Argentina. If you are looking for a sneaky sleeper to make it out of their group, take a look at this team.

How Far Can They Go

Again, just like Iran, I would be shocked if this team moves past the second round. They are a serviceable team, but simply don’t have what it takes to best the bigger teams in the Cup. However, advancing out of the group stage would be a success for this team, and from there, all bets are off.

Final Group Standings

1. Argentina

2. Bosnia and Herzegovina

3. Nigeria

4. Iran

Who do you think will challenge Argentina in this group? Let us know in the comments!

Miss any of our other previews, check them out below!

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Group E