World Cup 2014 Group F – Bosnia

Outright odds: 200/1

To win group: 15/2

To qualify: 11/13

 

Full squad: Asmir Begovic (Stoke), Jasmin Fejzic (Aalen), Asmir Avdukic (Toronto Raptors), Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen), Toni Sunjic (Zorya Luhansk), Sead Kolasinac (Schalke), Ognjen Vranjes (Elazigspor), Ermin Bicakcic (Eintracht Braunschweig), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg), Miralem Pjanic (Roma), Izet Hajrovic (Galatasaray), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor), Senad Lulic (Lazio), Anel Hadzic (Sturm Graz), Tino-Sven Susic (Hajduk Split), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim), Zvjezdan Misimovic (Guizhou Renhe), Senijad Ibricic (Erciyespor), Avdija Vrsajevic (Hajduk Split), Vedad Ibisevic (Stuttgart), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City), Edin Visca (Istanbul Buyuksehir).

 

Manager: Safet Susic

 

World Cup record: First-time qualifiers

 

 

The only country that hasn’t been at a World Cup is Bosnia but Safet Susic’s side have plenty going for them and should feel confident about making their mark on this year’s competition.

 

 

There are a few sides taking extremely talented crops to Brazil but the tag is fairly placed upon a Bosnia side that had to go through only on goal difference but scored 30 goals to Greece’s 12 in their qualifying section.

 

 

Away wins over Slovakia and Lithuania, both by the one goal, showed impressive nerve and control to seal the group while they also put three goals past a Greece side that conceded only eight other goals in the whole group stage – their only defeat – to show defensive strength as well as attacking prowess.

 

 

And they have plenty of it with only Robin Van Persie scoring more in Europe than strikers Edin Dezko and – who scored 16 crucial goals for Manchester City on his way to yet another league title – while Veded Ibsevic’s 10 goals in just 27 league games for Stuttgart was a decent return and one he’ll be hoping can be built upon.

 

Zvjezdan Misimovic is an impressive playmaker in his own right but nobody could match the brilliance of Miralem Pjanic, who shot up European estimations with a fine win season for a Roma side that took Serie A by storm. 6 goals over the course of a season shows that he’s a useful finisher but it’s his playmaking that really shone as Roma were a clear second in the league season. Senad Lulic’s Lazio didn’t have such a shining season but he impressed with seven goals through the season and was generally one of the most impressive players in the side.

The defence isn’t a great concern with Bundesliga pair Emir Saphic and Ermin Bicakcic an option for a centre-back duo while Mesur Mudjza played 6 games alongside the veteran; Bosnia let in just 6 goals in the whole of qualifying. Much of that is thanks to Asmir Begovic, who was fantastic for Stoke this season and Bosnia in the qualifying stages, and likely left back starter Kolasinac was a regular for Schalke in the Bundesliga this season. There’s a worry of squad depth outside the first 11, but come through an opener against Argentina relatively unscathed and games against Iran and Nigeria promise much for this young side.

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