Laos:Last years champs will look to repeat which is not an easy thing to do. It's cliche but they will be getting everyone's best shot.
Strengths:Tactically they are very strong, I mean any team that actually practices during the tournament better be organized. Laos is as quick of a team as you will come across and play a very high tempo game. Hardworking and technically solid. Would be easy to say they are undersized but do surprisingly well in the aerial battle.
Weaknesses:If they have lost Northey it is the hardest hit any team will take it the entire tournament. That guy demands loads of attention which can now be distributed elsewhere. Center mid may also have taken a hit.
Player to Watch:Boun Phoummabout - Winger - If Northey is out Boun will be expected to saddle a lot more of the load. Not sure anyone is capable of doing that but if I had to pick someone out it'd be Boun.
Odds of Winning:5/1
El Salvador:Champions the very first year the WCP Cup existed have failed to be able to make it back to the finals. A team that loves to have fun and that is evident in their play. Celebrate on!
Strengths:Technically one of the best teams, if not the best, in the entire tournament. Don't want to get caught in a 1 v 1 situation with almost anyone on this side. They are an offensive threat every time they get the ball.
Weaknesses:The cost of all out attack is that you are often prone to the counter. With so much dribbling they sometimes forget to shoot. Not sure about their goalkeeping situation? Something to watch.
Player to Watch:Josip Coric - Forward - A natural goalscorer who will ripple the twine at least a few times. Will show up in game shape.
Odds of Winning:4-1
Columbia:A team that has never really come close to advancing to knockout stages but has played in some very memorable games.
Strengths:Have a couple solid young players who are willing to run and will shoot from everywhere. Dangerous from set pieces, keepers will be called into action. Driven on by tremendous fan support.
Weaknesses:Heavily reliant on just a few players who will be gassed by the time this tournament is done. Suspect defense and goalkeeping will mean they will need goals galore to keep up.
Player to Watch:Paco - Midfielder - A swift footed player who just needs a yard of space to let loose a shot. Their main set piece taker I would assume.
Odds of Winning:90/1
AustriaAnother team which has never made it through to the knockout stages but has played some very good teams into tight games. Not a team to be overlooked.
Strengths:Bring your shinguards because even if Austria don't beat you, you will certainly know they were out there. A powerful, fast team that can score out of nowhere. Skill is underrated.
Weaknesses:Sometimes can be too physical and their tempers will flare causing lapses in concentration. Not the deepest squad you will find. Have lost their keeper so that is a major cause for concern.
Player to Watch:Ben Wolfmueller - Defender/Mid - Not as consistent as he used to be but can still be a dominant player when he wants to. Tough as nails and has a cannon of a left boot.
Odds of Winning:
Northern Ireland:Have previously made it to the knock out stages and didn't look out of place. Are in tough to repeat that feat.
Strengths:This is a team that is going to play whistle to whistle. Willing to sacrifice everything they have for the cause and are defensively sound. Keeper has been known to come up with big saves when called upon.
Weaknesses:Goals will be few and far between for N. Ireland. Not a real goal scorer or playmaker amongst the bunch. They will be under a lot of pressure as they have some trouble holding the ball.
Player to Watch:Sascha Franzke - GK - Played against him in an exhibition game this year. Was nearly unbeatable and made several spectacular saves.
Odds of Winning:45/1
Sudan:This team is new to the tournament and very little is known about them.
Strengths:Have heard they are extremely fast and will chase down everything. Nothing is a lost cause. Tough to prepare for since so little is known.
Weaknesses:Reckless tackling results in fouls and if they don't have a solid keeper that could spell big trouble.
Player to Watch:
Odds of Winning:200/1