Friday, December 04, 2009

The World Cup draw

The draw for the World Cup in South Africa was today, and there are some very interesting matches to look forward to!

Group A:

  • South Africa
  • Mexico
  • Uruguay
  • France

The hosts of South Africa will be playing their opening match against Mexico in what is arguably one of the most difficult groups to predict. France may seem like the favourites, but neither Mexico or Uruguay should be underestimated!

Group B:

  • Argentina
  • Nigeria
  • South Corea
  • Greece

A very interesting group where Argentina and Nigeria are undoubtedly favourites; both teams have faced one another in very interesting matches before, for instance in USA 1994, where both teams also defeated Greece. The best Asian team will have its hands full in this group.

Group C:

  • England
  • USA
  • Algeria
  • Slovenia

A group where England are undoubtedly favourites in what will be a repeat of the legendary 1950 sensation where USA defeated England in the British team's first world cup ever. Algeria are participating again after 1986, while Slovenia are looking to improve their meager participation of 2002.

Group D:

  • Germany
  • Australia
  • Serbia
  • Ghana

Undoubtfully one of the most interesting groups. Germany are always strong, but will have their hands full against the Australians, who have been steadily improving for the last decade, Serbia, who have been awesome in their qualifying group ahead of France, and Ghana, who are surely Africa's most serious candidate for a finalist.

Group E:

  • Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • Japan
  • Cameroun

Netherlands look as favourites against three teams that should undoubtfully not be underestimated, but in particularly Cameroun and Denmark will likely be fighting between them for the second spot.

Group F:

  • Italy
  • Paraguay
  • New Zealand
  • Slovakia

The defending world champions have had a lucky draw: the only team that apparently can threaten them are Paraguay, but then you have to be a staunch Paraguay supporter. Italy will probably go through on one 0-0 and two 1-0 victories.... It will be interesting to see the only debutants in the tournament, Slovakia.

Group G:

  • Brazil
  • North Corea
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Portugal

An extremely interesting group: the two lusophone powers Portugal and Brazil face one another, while Cote d'Ivoire is the African dark horse of the group, that could in fact take first place. North Corea is a totally unwritten team in all this, whose main asset seem to be their sensational tournament of 1966.

Group H:

  • Spain
  • Honduras
  • Chile
  • Switzerland

Spain enter the tournament as favourites yet again, but with a European Championship title. In 1982 at home, they totally missed their chance, for instance against Honduras, who will be looking to upset the Spaniards yet again in their second World Cup (I wouldn't put my money on it though...). Switzerland look strong yet again, but the really interesting team of this group is Chile, who under Marcelo Bielsa has bloomed into one of the teams to keep an eye on in this tournament!

The World Cup is on the way!


Anonymous said...

Hi Erik,

which group do you think will be the "death-group" this world cup? The group with Brazil, Portugal and Cote de Ivory?


El Erik said...

Yes, I think so, but both group A (the hosts, two former world champions, and a strong Mexico) and group D (Germany with three very strong outsiders) will be extremely close!