Bosnia and Herzegovina Team - 2014 World Cup Betting
Best Finish: Group Play, 2014
Manager: Safet Susic
Captain: Emir Spahic
Key Player: Edin Dzeko (Manchester City)
Group F: With Argentina, Iran and Nigeria
If there's a truly great story in this year's World Cup, it is definitely Bosnia and Herzegovina. After finally winning independence from Yugoslavia in 1992, the country entered into a bloody civil war and didn't officially play their first Cup until 1998. Since then, it's been a struggle, but they gradually improved to the point where they qualified for the first time in history.
Bosnia was rather impressive during UEFA Group G qualifying matches, posting an 8-1-1 (W-D-L) record. This tied Greece, but the Bosnians received the automatic qualifier spot thanks to their massive +24 goal differential, versus Greece's +8 mark.
While Bosnia lacks any World Cup history, they aren't merely a team that luckboxed their way into the event. They feature an interesting 4-1-3-2 formation that accentuates the scoring talents of Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic, Vedad Ibisevic and Senad Lulic. Case in point, they scored 30 goals during their 10 matches in the UEFA qualifying stage.
Dzeko is a particularly dangerous player because he scored 10 of these goals. He's been a fantastic club player, having won titles in both England and Germany. So it's no surprise that the Manchester City man was incredible during qualifying matches. Seeing as how Bosnia is rather inexperienced on the big-time international stage, which they're set to take this summer, Dzeko's experience as a winner will be critical.
The big question mark for this team will be their back-line play. Their captain, Emir Spahic, is entrenched as a solid contributor on defense, and they have one of the game's best young goalkeepers in Asmir Begovic. However, it's the rest of the defense that will need to prove itself during group play matches. This isn't a particularly deep roster either, meaning more pressure will be put on the stars like Dzeko and Ibisevic to score goals.
Bosnia isn't stuck in an impossible group. So if they can shore up the defensive concerns and continuing producing on the attack, this team could definitely surprise everybody during pool play.