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Jun 8, 2014

Surprise is key in all art. Oscar Niemeyer

Many a times we underestimates people's capability to surprise us, especially in Sports. Greece's 2004 European championship victory is the one event which comes to the mind instantaneously. There was no way they could have won that. No one gave them a chance. No one actually had to! It was illogical to even think about Greece's chances. The best one could hope for them was getting out of that group having Spain, Portugal and Russia. They were not supposed to come out of that group, but still they did and kept on surprising us one by one. And that's what happens when people rise about the reasoning of logic. Not sure whether it was supposed to happen, it just happened. To an extent the hope of Surprise is what keeps England's dream living on in this World Cup. They are in a Group where everything could be decided by the smallest of details.

It is completely unfair to say that England's success in the Championship would surprise all. They have every chance like every one of the other teams. But the common consensus among pundits that they could be the light weight in the "Group of Death". English National football is going through a transition of sorts. From the under achieving Golden Generation, they are making a transition. As far as I am concerned this side looks much better than the so called "Golden Generation". There is a bit of surprise in all of the new entrants in to the squad compared to the earlier squads. And definitely England can use that bit of surprise well.

The squad announced by Roy Hodgson for their adventure in Brazil is :

GoalKeepers: Joe Hart, Ben Foster, Fraser Forster.
Defenders: Glen Johnson, Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw.
Midfielders: Steven Gerrard, Jack Wilshere, Frank lampard, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley.
Forwards: Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Rickie Lambert.

England always have been the perennial under achievers. Regardless of that they always start every tournament as favourites. For once that tag won't be bothering them. This could be their first chance to go out their and play without any expectations. The problem for England is that they play the toughest of their two opponents in the first two games of the season. Their usual conservative style of play could secure them at most two draws, but they may need more especially in the most foreign of conditions. Italy always is a force at the World cup and Uruguay could be a handful especially in South America. So that demand that they at least win one of their opening two matches, which may require a much more fanciful style of play and a bit more of ambition. But without much of ane expectation England could go all out for it. You never know without much to lose they could surprise us all.

Italy Still the Same Formidable Force

It's not much of a surprise to see Italy doing well at the World cups. They always have played to their potential in the biggest stages. So it's not much of a surprise that they are expected to scrape through this "Group of Death". If Italy can't do it, then who else? Once again Italy line up with one of the strongest defences around. That always have been their strength. That's always have kept people from considering them as an out and out title contenders. But they are always there and this time also they look good enough for a show. If what we saw at the Euros it to be the "Way things Goes", then this Italy could be quite fun to watch too. Thing about that, Italy and fun! The squad list is :

GoalKeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Salvatore Sirigu, Mattia Perin.
Defenders: Mattia De Sciglio, Giorgio Chiellini, Matteo Darmian, Ignazio Abate, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Gabriel Paletta.
Midfielders: Thiago Motta, Antonio Candreva, Claudio Marchisio, Alberto Aquilani, Daniele De Rossi, Marco Parolo, Andrea Pirlo, Marco Verratti.
Forwards: Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, Alessio Cerci, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne.

Not much needs to be said about that squad. we all know how good that is. They were unbeaten in their qualification group rounds. And that definitely will be their strengths in the World cup too. With Pirlo pulling the strings and an unpredictable and equally destructive Balotelli running the show upfront, we may be in for another treat like in the last Euros. Who knows when the curtains falls on the biggest Sporting show after the Olympics, Italy could be celebrating. But then that won't surprise anyone.

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