Sunday, December 18, 2005

The 2006 World Cup draw

The draw for the 2006 World Cup in Germany took place on December 9th. Although I have been somehow absent from this blog for some weeks, I have keenly followed the draw, and I am very excited to see the groups as follows:
  • Group A: Germany, Costa Rica, Poland, Ecuador
Apparently not an overly difficult group for the hosts, although Costa Rica is a team to watch. Also Poland will be delighted to defeat their large Western neighbor.
  • Group B: England, Sweden, Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago
One of the more difficult groups. England, Sweden and Paraguay are all very strong teams who can win the group. Trinidad & Tobago, in their first World Cup appearance will have a difficult time (although nobody should be underestimated!)
  • Group C: Argentina, Netherlands, Serbia-Montenegro, Ivory Coast
This could easily be dubbed the "group of death". Argentina and Netherlands are two favourites for the title. Ivory Coast and Serbia-Montenegro are both very strong teams. While I do not hide my support for Argentina, I know it will be difficult.
  • Group D: Mexico, Iran, Angola, Portugal
A very interesting group, where Mexico and Portugal must be counted as the clear favourites. It will be interesting to watch the other teams though, in particularly Angola, making its World Cup debut. They will surely give the Portuguese a great fight!
  • Group E: Italy, Czech Republic, USA, Ghana
Another very difficult group. The Czech's are one of the strongest teams in Europe at the moment. The Italians are strong as always, while the 2002-quarterfinalists USA must never be underestimated. Ghana, with a very strong team, will have to display its best on their first World Cup appearance ever. There is no doubt however, that I hope for Ghana and the USA to continue from this group.
  • Group F: Brazil, Croatia, Japan, Australia
The group does not look too difficult for the defending World Champions of Brazil. However, they will start against an always fighting Croatian side, and will be facing some interesting matches with both Japan and Australia.
  • Group G: France, Switzerland, Togo, South Corea
In spite of France's difficulties in qualifying, they must surely be favourites in this group. Switzerland is strong, while South Corea will hope to continue from its excellent 2002 performance. Togo is making its first World Cup appearance.
  • Group H: Spain, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Ucraine
Spain and Ucraine are surely favourites in this group. Tunisia, defending African champions may pose a challenge. The Saudi Arabians will have a difficult time.

Kick-off will be on June 9th 2006. Until then, we will start seeing the preparations take place. Then it will be easier to come with some predictions. But it is now getting closer, and time for all fans to start get excited!

No comments: