Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013 Preview: Group C

The Contenders: Two of the top teams from last year, both of which got bounced  by eventual champion Sudan in close games - Poland in the quarterfinals, and Canada in the semifinals - are the obvious favourites of the group. While there may be some small differences in their respective lineups, expect both to play fast, physical, and very well defensively and in goal. There will be many close games in this group, but both of these teams have the players to manage the high expectations.

The Challengers: Always a dark horse to come out of the group stage, past champion Norway once again has a very competitive team, with maybe a couple pieces missing from being a favourite. This is an older squad, but still a very good team. Size and grit are the biggest advantages for Norway and they'll give the contenders a good game. Nigeria always has one of the most athletic teams in the tournament, but can never seem to catch a break. It tied Poland in 2012, but also lost to Germany and somehow tied Portugal, which was the difference between making the playoffs and being left out.

The Pretenders: One of the newer teams in the tournament, Hungary had a decent first showing in 2012, but was undone by a lack of depth. I don't believe that problem has been solved for this year, but expect them to play hard every game. Greece is a proud franchise with a ton of fan support which has occasionally managed to surprise people, but more often than not finishes in the bottom of the group.

Predicted Order of Finish
1. Canada
2. Poland
3. Norway
4. Nigeria
5. Hungary
6. Greece


Anonymous said...

Second place in this group is not guaranteed to any one, I think Greece, Nigeria and Poland and may be Norway will all fight for second play but I won't count Hungary out as I heard they have picked up a few pieces.
2.poland / Nigeria

Anonymous said...

This is a tough group to call if either Poland or Canada drop points there could be some real surprises.

Anonymous said...

Norway will finish in 4th place at best in this pool. If Greece summons the powers of the Greek Gods like they sometimes do against tougher teams, Norway could finish 5th in the pool. I laugh at how much it gets tossed around that Norway is a "past champion", but it is relevant as its almost entirely the same guys...only 5 years older and slower.

Anonymous said...

Hungary, they got about 6-7 players from Medicine Hat college team. They could be decent this year.