World Cup Picks and Notes

Below are the groups and the picks. Being mostly jobless has given me a lot of time to read blogs and scouting reports.

For those who do not know how this works, teams in each group all play each other in a round robin. The top two teams in each group goes into a knockout round. The knockout is a single elimination game. If the teams are tied at the end of 90 minutes of play they go to a shootout.

  • Win: 3 points
  • Lose: 1 point
  • Tie: 0 points
  • Total Goals for tie breaker

Group A

  • South Africa
  • Mexico *
  • Uruguay
  • France *

If this were any other year, this would be France’s group. But between the bullshit with Ireland in qualifying and some sex scandals that have divided the team they might win the whole thing. I think they will still get out of the group. Mexico is also looking good. They finally seem to be able to win games not in Mexico City. Clearly, the dark horse of this group is the host nation of South Africa. History seems to show that the host always done well. But by all account, they are not really that good.

Group B

  • Argentina *
  • Nigeria *
  • South Korea
  • Greece

No real comments about this group. If any African nation has a chance to win this year it is Nigeria.

Group C

  • England *
  • USA *
  • Algeria
  • Slovenia

USA! USA! USA! or something. Of course I am going to pull of the US here. They have been playing very well. Will they win the whole thing? Not a chance. Is it going to be an up hill battle? Very much so. England, like France is a perennially favorite. But they have had a lot of injuries and no real defense.

Group D

  • Germany *
  • Australia
  • Serbia
  • Ghana

Germany and some other team I guess. There is no html tag for a shrug. Germany would be my pick to win the whole thing. The US creamed Australia in a warm-up match last week.

Group E

  • Netherlands *
  • Denmark *
  • Japan
  • Cameroon

Netherlands and Denmark

Group F

  • Italy
  • Paraguay
  • New Zealand
  • Slovakia

Yawn. Italy won four years ago. They have lost a number of players. Slovakia could be something

Group G

  • Brazil *
  • North Korea
  • Ivory Coast
  • Portugal *

HA! Oh poor North Korea. They are going to lose so badly. Their first match is against Brazil. It would be like some NFL team playing some 6 year old tee-ball team. So Brazil, clearly is going to win

the

group and maybe the whole thing. I would of said that Ivory Coast was the second team for this group, but their best player broke his arm last week in practice. I am not sure if they can win without him. Needless to say ESPN thinks the Brazil/Ivory Coast game is going to be one to watch because it is going to be broadcast on ABC next sunday (June 20th).

Group H

  • Spain *
  • Switzerland
  • Honduras
  • Chile

Spain in a walk. They are another favorite to win the whole this year. I have no idea about the second team. Chile maybe?