Groups E and F. The World Cup has started, but of course not all teams have played yet. On this football-language podcast we take a look at two more groups in the tournament: Groups E and F. For this audio report there is a transcript, which is great for learners and teachers of English, who can use it to create worksheets and activities. If you have questions or comments, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (Damon=DB).
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Transcript of the show (16th June 2018)
Learn English through Football Podcast: 2018 World Cup Preview – Groups E and F
DB: You are listening to languagecaster.com’s football-language podcast. Hello everyone and welcome to the podcast for all those interested in improving their English skills and who love the game of football and the World Cup! My name is Damon and on this audio report we will be looking at groups E and F, which start their games on Sunday with Costa Rica v Serbia, from group E. For this audio report we have a transcript and which can be freely accessed if you come along to our site – languagecaster.com. If you like what we are doing and also want to receive some extra posts and materials then please consider becoming a patron – come along tot he site and click on the big orange button to see how you can support us! Cheers!
Stinger: You are listening to Languagecaster.com (in Vietnamese).
- Brazil (2nd)
- Costa Rica (23rd)
- Switzerland (6th)
- Serbia (34th)
It looks like Brazil are nailed on, definitely sure, to top this group. They will be desperate to put in a good performance at this World Cup after being shocked and humbled at the hands of Germany on their home soil in the last tournament. I’m sure all football fans remember that 7-1 thrashing. Many pundits predict that this will be Neymar’s time to shine, just as Messi and Ronaldo’s careers are reaching their last stages. It’s hard to find a weakness in the Seleção, with strength all over the pitch – a nice balance of steel and flair.
It looks like the battle for the second qualifying spot is quite open after that, although Switzerland’s ranking of 6th in the World must be taken with a pinch of salt – they really are not that good. They will rely on Xhaka and Shaqiri for creativity and goals, and also in their favour is the fact that their squad is relatively young – and average age of 27.2 – perhaps the peak age for a footballer.
Costa Rica and Serbia will both believe that they can defy the rankings and grab second, which makes their opening game on Sunday massive. Serbia are another young side with an average age 26.8, the fifth youngest in the competition. The cliches, good on paper, and dark horses could also be used to describe them. Look out for the Lazio midfielder Milinkovic-Savic to catch the eye!
Los Ticos, Costa Rica’s nickname, are getting older as a squad, so the quarter final run last time in 2014 might not be so relevant this time round, but they do have a cracking player in midfielder, Joel Campbell, and with Navas between the sticks, they can certainly keep clean sheets.
Prediction: Brazil and the winner between Serbia v Costa Rica
- Germany (1st)
- Mexico (15th)
- South Korea (57th)
- Sweden (24th)
Again, it is easy to pick the team that should finish top, and that is the World Champions and world ranked number one team, Joachim Low’s squad, Germany. This team has pedigree and always go far in these competitions, but there is the champion’s curse – France, winners in 1998, failed to qualify from the Group stage in 2002; Italy won in 2006 and they didn’t get out of the group either in 2010; and what happened to the 2010 Champion’s Spain in 2014 – they suffered the same fate.
If there is to be a shock, you’d think it would be Mexico, managed by Juan Carlos Osorio, who also have good form at World Cups; the last six competitions they’ve got to the last 16. That’s a great record, but they haven’t got further than that in that time period. Ochoa in goal was a rock in Brazil 2014 and the Mexican’s will be hoping that up front Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez can convert the chances created from a strong-looking midfield. Sweden, are always there or there abouts in a match. They rarely get blown away and are well-organised side. They don’t have their superstar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but that may be in their favour, as the team can be just that, a team. Remember they are here on merit after edging out Holland in the group qualifiers and then beating Italy in the knockout qualifier. Those are big scalps!
Probably making up the numbers, are South Korea, who are an energetic side but lack real class. They do have Tottenham’s Heung Min Son, but realistically, a couple of draws would be success.
Predictions: Germany and Mexico
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