World Cup Special – Who’s going to win?

Posted: May 27, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Sport, World Cup
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Well, the summer is here, the World Cup is about to start, and I have so much time on my hands right now that I’m prepared to go through each group and predict what will happen from start to finish, and we’ve got a pretty interesting final in store if I’m right…

Image0030.jpg soccer city 2 image by debuffed

Soccer City, Johannesburg - Where this year's world Cup Final will be held

Right, lets start at Group A, not many surprises here, and Irish fans may be begging Uruguay or South Africa to cause an upset, but the two clear favourites to make it through are the Handball Henrys and Mexico.

Steven Pienaar by yowez.com.

Steven Pienaar and his South African teammates face a tough test on home soil

1 France

2 Mexico

3 Uruguay

4 South Africa

Group B This one definitely has potential for some interesting results, Nigeria are seeded 2nd, but my money is on Greece to make the last 16, along with Maradona’s Men, who probably won’t drop a point on their way to the knockout phase. Much has been made of their shaky qualification, just scraping in on the final match of the CONMEBOL tournament, but once things get going in South Africa, we can be sure to see some excellent football from Tevez, Messi and Co.

1 Argentina

2 Greece

3 Nigeria

4 South Korea

Fabio Capello’s England side look good to make it through Group C, but the ever-improving Americans will pose a stern test.

Fabio_Capello.jpg capello image by sportmilSlovenia and Algeria will be no pushovers either, but will more than likely be outmuscled by their more illustrious opponents.

1 England

2 USA

3 Slovenia

4 Algeria

Group D will be a very interesting affair, with Serbia and Ghana battling it out for 2nd spot behind Germany. Australia’s golden age has passed. Harry Kewell is by no means the player he once was, while Mark Viduka has hung up his boots. The only match-winner left in the side is Everton’s Tim Cahill, and he can’t do it all on his own. Serbia, on the other hand, have a raft of quality players. Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Vidic and Birmingham City’s new signing Nikola Zigic form the heart of what is quite a good team. Also, watch out for CSKA Moscow midfielder Milos Krasic, one of my tips to make a big impression on spectators this summer. Ghana have the likes of Michael Essien and Rennes striker Asamoah Gyan in their ranks, but the Serbs should have enough firepower to make it through.

miloskrasic.jpg milos krasic image by travel_pix4_5_09

Serbian Milos Krasic could emerge as a superstar after this World Cup

1 Germany

2 Serbia

3 Ghana

4 Australia

In Group E, Holland and the Cameroon will be battling it out for top spot, and the African side, Captained by Samuel Eto’o, might just steal that top spot. Defensively, they’re very strong, with Spurs duo Sebastian Bassong and Benoit Assou-Ekotto. They’ve also got Arsenal’s Alex Song, Manchester United target Stephane M’Bia in midfield and in Espanyol’s Carlos Kameni, the Indomitable Lions have a top-class goalkeeper. The Dutchmen have traditionally lacked team spirit on these big occasions, and their aging side, though still well above average, may have to settle for second place in the group stages. As for Denmark and Japan, their World Cup Run will probably be limited to the three group games.

SOCCER by Thierryken.

Every World Cup, at least one African team does very well, this year it could well be Cameroon

1 Cameroon

2 Holland

3 Denmark

4 Japan

Group F should pose no trouble for defending champions Italy, and although Paraguay seemed like a good bet for 2nd place, their dour performance in the RDS the other night suggests Slovakia could well make it into the last 16. As for New Zealand, stick to the rugby, lads.

1 Italy

2 Slovakia

3 Paraguay

4 New Zealand

Group G has been dubbed the Group of Death by many, and not just because North Korea are in it… Portugal, Brazil and the Ivory Coast will lock horns in what will be the closest group of all. We can assume that they will all beat Kim Jong Il’s boys (I assume he’s the manager) and so it will come down to whoever drops the least points to their rivals, and it could well come down to goal difference. At the age of 32, Didier Drogba is almost certainly playing in his last World Cup, and his determination to succeed could well be a decisive factor, especially against Portugal, who are not the team they once were. The Ivory Coast have been tipped by many to make waves this summer, with odds as low as 30/1 to win the whole thing, while that’s not going to happen, it just goes to show how highly rated they are this year.

1 Brazil

2 Ivory Coast

3 Portugal

4 North Korea

Drogba's sheer determination could take his side a long way

Group H should be fairly straightforward for Spain, leaving Honduras and Switzerland to battle it out for 2nd place. The Swiss have the advantage of having more of their players in the top leagues in Europe, and should be able to scrape through, don’t expect them to go much further though.

1 Spain

2 Switzerland

3 Honduras

4 Chile


If the group stages play out like this, the Last 16 will be:

(predicted winners in bold)

France v Greece, England v Serbia, Germany v USA, Argentina v Mexico, Cameroon v Slovakia, Brazil v Switzerland, Italy v Holland, Spain v Ivory Coast

(This is based on “winner of group A to play runner-up Group B” etc, it’s not just guesswork)

Quarter Finals

Cameroon v Brazil, France v England, Argentina v Germany, Italy v Spain.

Semi Finals

England v Brazil, Argentina v Spain.

Final

England v Spain

—————————————————————————

So, England and Spain in the Final you say? But England always mess it up in the quarter final? Well, this year, I really do think it could happen because, firstly, I strongly believe Fabio Capello has finally created a “team”. The emergence of Aaron Lennon as one of the best players in the Premiership, the return of Ledley King and Joe Cole, and the phenomenal form of Wayne Rooney this season all adds up to one formidable team. There’s no doubt they have the beating of Brazil in the semis, putting to bed the ghosts of 2002, where Ronaldinho’s looping free-kick fooled David Seaman and put an end to yet another England campaign in typically cruel fashion.

If Cameroon do pip Holland to top spot in the group, they could certainly go all the way to the quarter finals, since Slovakia are the easiest tie left in the last 16. Brazil have a relatively easy run all the way to the semis, so a bet on Luis Fabiano for top goalscorer at 12/1 would be well worth a fiver. I think Argentina can overturn Germany in the quarter final, but will be halted in the semis by Spain, who should, on paper at least, beat England in the final. Vicente Del Bosque’s side are favourites for a reason, names such as Villa, Iniesta, Torres, Casillas, Xavi and Fabregas are some of the best-known in the world, and this summer, they will all be on the same team. Frankly, I can’t imagine another side capable of getting the better of them.

Luis Fabiano by elsevillaweb.

They may not go all the way, but expect to see plenty of celebrations from Luis Fabiano, my tip for the Ballon D'Or

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