- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On December 4, 2009
- 0 Comments
- 2010 World Cup, Algeria, England, Group C, Slovenia, US National Team, World Cup 2010, World Cup Draw
The draw is over and now the time has begun for the endless talk and analysis of each group for the next six months. Yes the World Cup is miles away from today’s draw but we know now a lot of what could go on next summer in South Africa.
Some groups are down right ridiculous and others aren’t too shabby. It all of course depends on who you root for but for US fans I think many are happy with today’s outcome in South Africa. But more on that in a bit. I decided earlier in the day that once the groups would come out I would take a little time and give a quick review of each and a short prediction. Let me be the first to say I reserve the right to change my prediction for this tournament as much as I want here. I know I won’t get everything right but I’m willing to try.
Now for the groups.
Group A (FIFA ranking)
South Africa (86)
If you hate Mexico or France then you’re probably not liking this group too much. Not only did two of the most hated countries in the tournament get pared together but with the host country. But let’s not sleep on Uruguay here, they’re better than most expect. In fact I’m willing to bet they move on with either Mexico or France to the knockout stages.
More than likely though France will turn things around before next summer and be a big favorite in this group. Mexico is playing well too. Uruguay for me is the wild card in this group as they can probably beat both Mexico or France on a given day. We know South Africa will get the home support but being the weakest side in the field we can’t expect much out of them.
Prediction to move on: France, Uruguay
South Korea (52)
We have to figure out of the gate that Argentina will be the favorites in this group. Nigeria is hot and cold too often to figure out and the Greeks are be good at times and then not so good at other times. Then South Korea is a wild-card, either they shock you or you dominate them.
After Argentina I have to like Greece though because of their top scorer Theo Gekas. I gotta say I can’t wait to see this match between Greece and Argentina. In a way I kind of feel like the Greeks could shock Lionel Messi and Argentina. It’s entirely possible.
Prediction to move on: Argentina, Greece
This is definitely the group most Americans were dreaming of here. Kind of feel funny that my mock draw yesterday had us against England too. Look England is good, in fact this is probably their best squad in a long time going into the World Cup. But the thing is we hear that each time they are in the big dance.
Still we have to imagine the US and England are the big favorites in this group. Slovenia is good and did knock off Russia to get here. Algeria isn’t shabby either but most will agree that they are the one African side not named South Africa that US fans wanted to get grouped with. Let’s not forget that Algeria knocked out the African champs to get here as well in that heated series with Egypt.
The US needs to get healthy in a hurry though to get out of this group. While I love our chances it won’t come easy facing two good European teams.
Prediction to move on: England, USA
Hang on to your hats kiddo’s this is one of those Group of Death groups that we always mention. Germany is tournament tested but we know the Aussies will provide a big test here for all other teams in this group. Ghana and Serbia are two countries I was dreading to see called into a US group.
Germany will get out of this group, they’re well coached and just too talented not to in my opinion. After that it is a toss up. Serbia is a country that is better than most know of at this point. We know Ghana is probably one of the toughest teams from Africa in this tournament with Michael Essien. Australia is the real wild-card of the bunch as they always play up to their competition and they know they can get to the knockout round after doing it in 2006.
Whomever does come from this group on top expect them to do well in this tournament.
Prediction to move on: Germany, Ghana
One has to wonder if the Dutch really got tested in Euro qualifying here. Denmark will provide a decent challenge as few expected them to be here after being grouped with Sweden and Portugal in qualifying.
Japan and Cameroon aren’t easy outs but Japan did lose earlier this year to the Dutch 3-0 in a friendly. It’s really hard to count out Cameroon with Samuel Eto leading the way though. Still for me this group comes down to the match between Denmark and Cameroon. Winner of that moves on with the Dutch and I think right now that is Cameroon.
Prediction to move on: Netherlands, Cameroon
New Zealand (77)
I think the defending champions caught a big break in their draw. The Azzurri have gone 3-0 against New Zealand, Paraguay and Slovakia in their most recent meetings and outscoring them a combined 10-4.
After Italy it is almost a toss up for me. I think New Zealand could present a few challenges as they could have that “happy to be there” mentality that can be pretty dangerous to face sometimes. Slovakia as we’ve seen against the US is tough defensively and Paraguay finished third in South American qualifying.
Prediction to move on: Italy, Slovakia
North Korea (84)
Ivory Coast (16)
Boy what did Brazil do to deserve this draw? Before it got started there was three teams I didn’t want in my group and they were Brazil, Ivory Coast and Portugal. And some how they all ended up in the same group together. Some how that is just wrong on so many levels but damn the games we will see here will be epic.
The firepower in this group is amazing. We know Brazil brings a to the table with Robinho and Kaka; Portugal has Christiano Ronaldo; and Ivory Coast has Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou.
We have to like Brazil still winning this group but it sure as hell won’t be easy. Portugal has to find their good play again here which is why I think the Ivory Coast may slip through to the knockout round.
Prediction to move on: Brazil, Ivory Coast
Some think Spain got an easy group but I beg to differ. Chile is no easy out and Honduras will upset someone in this tournament…mark it down. The Swiss are lead by a goal-scoring machine in Blaise N’Kufo who will pose problems for some defenses in this group.
I do think the Spanish will make it out of this group with ease though as their defense is tough and their offense is down right amazing. After that it’s a toss up as I think all three have a real shot in this group. I’d love to see Honduras go through but Chile and Switzerland are tough draws for them. In the end I’m going with Humberto Suazo and Chile.
Prediction to move on: Spain, Chile