This Tuesday, November 19 is the second, and final, leg for the 2014 World Cup European Playoff matches. The aggregate winners of each set of matches will advance to the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil. Read below for my previews and predictions for each match.
Croatia v Iceland Preview: With the first leg ending 0-0 there is still hope for Iceland to make it to the World Cup Finals. Traveling to Croatia will be a difficult trip and the home team will certainly be favorites. My prediction is for a narrow Croatia win to upset what has become something of a “Cinderella” story in Iceland.
Romania v Greece Preview: Greece takes a rather commanding lead to Romania after winning at home 3-1. I suppose Romania still has a chance with the away goal, but Greece is a team that knows how to defend and will likely sit back. My prediction is for a draw with Greece advancing on aggregate.
Sweden v Portugal Preview: Portugal take their 1-0 lead up to Sweden where anything can happen. This match is certainly much more than just Ronaldo v Zlatan, but the team that can shut down their opponent’s star player will have the edge. I’m predicting that Portugal come through this one. They have a stronger team (with or without Ronaldo) and have the one goal advantage.
France v Ukraine Preview: While France has been very disappointing this is balanced by how effective and surprising the Ukraine has been this qualifying season. Their home 2-0 win gives them a clear advantage and France will be without Laurent Koscielny. While my prediction is for a France win, I’m predicting that the Ukraine will advance to the World Cup on aggregate.
1 – 0
0 – 0
2 – 1