Group play of the 2010 World Cup starts Friday morning, and to whoever scheduled the World Cup, thank you for making the US vs. England match on a Saturday. I’ve gone through each group and chosen the two I think will move on, using nothing but the world ranking (unavoidable on the ESPNsoccernet bracket) and what I’ve heard on SportsCenter or any other show. Other than that, this is completely ill-informed and unresearched, which probably gives me a better shot at getting it right. Teams in bold are moving on, place in group in parentheses.
South Africa is only in as the host; Mexico is apparently ranked lower than Uruguay, but would probably be killed back home if they got knocked out in group play; C’mon, who’s heard anything from Uruguay recently?; France sucks. Ireland should be in (see Henry hand ball). They’ll probably move on.
The Messi’s go to the second round; I think Nigeria will feed off of all the support they will have; South Korea will be a punching bag; will Greece be able to afford airfare to get the team to South Africa?
United States (2)
England is England, they’re moving on; let’s see if the US can handle being a favorite after that Confederations Cup run; sorry Algeria, it’s not happening; isn’t this Slovenia’s first World Cup? They won’t move on.
Germany had a solid shot to make it far before Ballack went down, they’ll still move on; Australia impressed me in the warm up match. If that long-haired-guy-who’s-name-I-won’t-research-to-keep-true-to-the-post can convert chances to goals, they could scare some teams; I don’t trust Serbia enough to pick them even if they are ranked 15th; Ghana I think could score an upset, but won’t move on though.
The Dutch are fun to watch, at least in the last Euro Cup, and I’m part Dutch so do it Oranje!; Denmark can only practice like 3 months out of the year outdoors, they won’t move on; Japan I can see doing something crazy, but they’ll be eliminated; good draw for Cameroon, I think they take the second spot.
Ridiculously easy draw for Italy; I didn’t go with Uruguay, so I’ll go with their twin Paraguay; I can’t pick Australia and their retarded brother New Zealand; Slovakia’s a hockey country, they won’t know what to do without skates.
Brazil is so good they didn’t have a spot for Ronaldinho on the team. That means they move on; North Korea is ranked 105th, but should somebody just let them get win to pacify Kim Jong Il?; the Ivory Coast was a sleeper until Drogba went down. This would have been a very entertaining group with him in it; Portugal is always a threat to go far. That’s what she said.
Spain wants to prove themselves in competition after the US beat them; Switzerland I just don’t see as a soccer country, or moving on for that matter; Honduras is my underdog. They were feisty in qualifying, I think they can steal a spot in the elimination rounds; Chile I have no clue about, but I like Honduras to qualify for the second round which leaves Chile out in the cold. Which is good, since it’s snowboarding season down there.
Did I manage to get a snowboarding reference into my World Cup preview? You bet I did. Tomorrow I’ll post what the elimination round matches would be, based on ESPNsoccernet’s Bracket Predictor and my predictions, right on through to the final.
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