GROUP F
Bosnia-Herzegovina

THE 60-SECOND OVERVIEW

The Dragons have already made history. Not only is this their first ever major tournament, but they are the sole debutants among the 32 teams competing in Brazil. When they finally managed to qualify, they did it in style, winning eight of their 10 matches and scoring 30 goals – three per game – which sent waves of euphoria throughout the country.

Their group looks passable – perhaps deceptively so – and the nation will be trembling with expectation, but the team looks unbalanced and slightly incoherent tactically. The question is: can their undoubted strengths outweigh their deficiencies?

THE DREAM

It’s their first time, but that doesn’t mean Bosnia & Herzegovina will be happy with just participating at the World Cup: they want to make a lasting impression.Manager Safet Susic’s tactics are pretty straightforward. For him, attack is the best form of defence, and his team will be looking to, first and foremost, outscore their opponents.

With Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic scoring 18 goals between them in qualifying, and creative midfielders Miralem Pjanic and Zvjezdan Misimovic adding another eight, they certainly know where the net is. If they can keep those goals flowing, getting to latter stages would not be an impossible dream.

THE NIGHTMARE

For a boss with such a clear preference for attacking football, Susic seems far too relaxed when it comes to his strikers: he has only ever called up two of them and both have played every single match. Should either of them get injured or suspended, Bosnia will be in very serious trouble, as there’s simply no obvious Plan B and they will be forced to resort to impromptu solutions. Without the usual firepower up front, their weaknesses are much more likely to be exposed and fans could end up very disappointed.

THE STATS
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CAUSE HEADACHES FOR TV COMMENTATORS: ERMIN BICAKCIC

It’s "Bitch-uck-cheech", OK? The centre-back, who scored a key goal in the qualifiers, adorns his name with no fewer than three accents above the Cs – and his head with a quiff-come-flat-top to make Vanilla Ice nod approvingly.

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GIVE SOMEONE THE FINGER (AGAIN): EMIR SPAHIC

The Leverkusen defender (and Bosnia captain) was recently fined by Bundesliga for flipping the bird to Braunschweig’s keeper Daniel Davari when the ref wasn’t looking. Davari plays for Iran, who are in Bosnia’s group.

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WIN BACK THE NATION'S LOVE: EDIN DZEKO

When things went awry in the last friendly against Egypt, fans turned on the player with the most star power. But all will be forgotten if The Diamond, as they call him, glitters in Brazil.

DID YOU KNOW?
Safet Susic was the ONLY manager not to attend the World Cup draw. Having missed his flight, he simply decided to return home and watch IT on TV.

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The history makers will enjoy their first tournament, but will they survive the group? Maybe not, if they get an injury to a striker...