Star man: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

One to watch: Ezequiel Garay (Benfica)

Coach: Alejandro Sabella (above)

Qualified: First, South America

Best World Cup: Winners (1978, 1986)

Predicted group finish: 1

Expectations in Argentina will be at fever pitch when Lionel Messi leads out the Albicelestes to face Bosnia- Herzegovina in their opening group match in Rio de Janeiro on June 15. Messi will spearhead a golden generation which will embark on the country’s 11th successive Finals.


Star man: Edin Dzeko (Man City)

One to watch: Miralem Pjanic (Roma)

Coach: Safet Susic (above)

Qualified: Europe group winners

Best World Cup: First appearance

Predicted group finish: 2

When Miroslav Blazevic departed in 2009, there was a fear his inspiration on the side would go too. But Safet Susic has continued the flamboyant style of play, often without sacrificing his side’s more attacking players. In his two qualifying campaigns as manager, for Euro 2012 and this World Cup, the Bosnians have finished as top scorers of their groups.