This year’s Dutch team has what it takes to win it all. But could Denmark offer a formidable challenge? Michael Cree previews Group E in the tournament draw. For more coverage of the World Cup, go to BBC.com/sport. – KW
Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, and Cameroon
Marked by exquisite skill, the Netherlands are many people’s favorites to win the whole tournament. Between Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben, Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder, and Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie – not to mention Real Madrid’s Rafael Van Der Vaart and Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt – Holland has an abundance of attacking talent to rely upon.
One ray of light for the rest of the group is that the Dutch team’s defense is weak and susceptible to speedy strikers like Inter Milan’s Samuel Eto’o, captain of the Cameroonian team. Prolific at club level, he will spearhead his country’s efforts once again. Much like the Dutch, however, Cameroon’s defense is porous.
Japan will go into this World Cup much like it does every time – with nothing to lose. One of the strongest teams in Asia, they are one of the weakest in this tournament. They will have their fanatical following but little to offer in return.
Rounding out this group is Denmark, the perennial dark horse. The Danes often flatter to deceive, but they will likely rely on frontman John Dahl Tomasson to spearhead their challenge. Strong throughout, they could be an outside bet for to qualify behind the Dutch.