Thursday, June 03, 2010

World Cup 2010 predictions

I recently played through the world cup schedule, and some very interesting things came out:
  • African teams will struggle. Not only are they all in difficult groups, but in the next rounds they will struggle as well. I tip Nigeria (group B) and Ghana (group D) to go through, both on the second spot. In that case Ghana would play England (who I tip to win group C) and Nigeria would be facing the winner of group A (I tip Uruguay, but if South Africa makes it, we are looking at an all-African last-16). I tip Cameroon to go through on second spot in group E (ahead of Denmark), but then they will face Italy (winners group F), and that will be their end).
  • Spain, one of the main favourites, is looking to have a difficult path. Even though I tip them to win their group H, they are crossing with group G, where they may face Portugal, Brazil, Ivory Coast or (less likely) North Corea. I tip an all-thrilling Brazil-Spain already in the last-16. And although I tip Spain to win, they will be facing the defending champions of Italy (winners of group F, and to defeat Cameroon) in the quarterfinal, and that will be Spain's exit, just like in 1994.
  • Italy, after cruising through round 1 and the last-16, will then upset the Spaniards in the quarterfinals, but could well then face Argentina in the semifinals.
  • Argentina, the hugely talented side apparently has a quite good trajectory, but will probably not play as spectacular as expected, but their skills will carry them through the first spot in group B. Thus, they will face the runners-up of group A (I tip Mexico, a repeat of 2006 Round-of-16 match). In the quarterfinal they will face the winner of group F (very difficult, but I tip Serbia) or the runner-up of group C (I tip USA). Thus, we would be looking at Argentina-Serbia or Argentina-USA in the quarterfinal, and I think Argentina would win. (potentially an Argentina-Germany, but I don't tip Germany to go beyond round 1).
  • This would mean Argentina-Italy (or Argentina-Spain/Brazil) in the semifinals.
  • I think Brazil will not win their group G, but make a second on goal difference to Portugal. Thus, Portugal will face Chile (runner-up group H) in the last-16, in what would surely be a thrilling match. Tipping with my heart, I think Chile would go through, and face a strong Netherlands side in the quarterfinals.
  • Netherlands will easily win their group E, and face the runners-up of group F (I tip Paraguay), to defeat them, to then take on Chile in the quarterfinals. There has to be a surprise team, and I believe it could be Chile, who will defeat the Netherlands and face England in the semifinals.
  • England, under Fabio Capello, will easily win group C, and in a close match dispatch Ghana (or perhaps Australia as runners-up in group D?), before facing Uruguay (winners group A; it would perhaps be more interesting if it were France, but I don't tip France beyond round 1) or Nigeria (runners-up group B). I believe England would narrowly defeat either side and make it to the semifinals.
  • I am thus tipping the two following semifinals: England-Chile and Argentina-Italy.
  • We are looking at one of the most thrilling rivalries in world cup football as a potential final: England-Argentina! (if both teams coincide on first or second spot in their groups, they will probably play in the quarterfinals, if not, they can play in the final at the earliest)
Some thrilling probabilities to look forward to in the knock-out stages, notably Spain-Brazil/Portugal/Ivory Coast; England-Australia/Germany, Argentina-Mexico/Uruguay/France/South Africa!
I think my tips are good, although it is extremely hard, and I am seldomly right, but would love to hear what others are tipping!


Anonymous said...

Hi Erik,

interesting - but (there always is a but):
I think you favour the south american teams - your tips put all five south american team in the last 16 - I think that is not too likely to happen (although it is much more likely than all european, african or asian teams to do the same)
another thing - none of the asian teams seems to get further than the first round in your tips - which of the asian teams are most likely to go through in your view?


El Erik said...

Hi Jim,
good call!
Although Uruguay progressing is perhaps a chance to take, it is not wildly unrealistic. I do believe that we this year have the strongest contingent from South America, and their groups are by no means impossible (for Chile and Paraguay it looks good). It may in fact be Brazil or Argentina the most likely South Americans not to progress beyond the first round...

Regarding the Asians, no, except Australia (they are from the "Asian" qualifiers) who I am almost tipping to go through (depends a lot on whether Serbia will be as good as in qualification, or they will be as bad as in their recent friendlies). Australia is by far the best "Asian" team. South Corea can potentially cause upset, and I know nothing about North Corea.

The Claus said...

Greetings El Erik.
Being a scientist and not very good at football predictions based on gut feelings and biased thoughts over the last four years, plus living in the USA. I decided to do what a scientist does, data, statistics and close observation and analysis for my predictions.
The usual suspects!
The first round looks very exciting!
First round:
Group A: It will be very very close among France, Mexico and Uruguay. France and Mexico will advance narrowly.
Group B: Argentina and Greece will advance, Greece on goal difference over Nigeria.
Group C: England and USA will advance, USA on goal difference over Slovenia.
Group D: Germany and Serbia will advance easily
Group E: Netherlands and Cameroon will advance. Cameroon over Denmark on goal difference.
Group F: Italy and Paraguay will advance.
Group G: Brazil and Portugal will advance.
Group H: Spain and Chile will advance.
Round of 16:
Greece will defeat France
England will defeat Serbia
Netherlands will defeat Paraguay
Brazil will defeat Chile
Argentina will defeat Mexico
Germany will defeat USA
Italy will defeat Cameroon
Spain will defeat Portugal
England will defeat Greece
Brazil will defeat Netherlands
Germany will defeat Argentina
Spain will defeat Italy
Brazil will defeat England
Spain will defeat Germany
Spain will defeat Brazil on PKs by two goals to become the FIFA 2010 World Cup Champions.

Now, when dealing with sports and history and sports statistics, anything can happen on any given day. Hopefully there will be some great upsets in the first round: Uruguay beating Mexico or France?
South Korea or Nigeria beating Argentina? Slovenia or USA beating England? Denmark beating Cameroon or Netherlands? Ivory Coast beating Portugal or Brazil? these just to name a few. If these possibilities were to happen that would make the round of 16 even more interesting, but I will spare you from my non-biased, statistical, data specific, analytical predictions... and see what really happens!

Good luck!

El Erik said...

My scientific friend Claus. I can see your points. But no African team in the second round? (maybe, but unlikely). And you like the Greeks man :)
Where will the surprises be?

Group A: I dont see France making it, with a strange selection, the world's worse coach, and immersed in scandals. Watch out for Uruguay though: with Forlán and Luis Suarez they have one of the most powerful attacking forces in the world, and Nicolás Lodeiro gives them weight in midfield. I believe Uruguay could be one to watch for in the tournament!
Group B: Close call with Nigeria, although I dont see Greece through. They have become predictable in their style since 2004, and depend too much on some of their old stars. I even believe the efficient Coreans will defeat Greece.
Group C: I agree
Group D: I find this the hardest group, so I wouldnt say easily! Germany are seriously hampered without Ballack. Serbia was awesome in qualification, but has lately looked bad. Ghana is perhaps the strongest team in Africa (and will it help playing in Africa...?), while Australia is the best "Asian" side, used to the climate (and remember, they almost eliminated Italy in 2006).
Group E: I agree, but hope Denmark will make it!
Group F: I agree
Group G: I agree, but watch out for the Ivorians though! And North Coreas 11 in defence could easily annoy the Brazilians. The end result may be about who defeats the Coreans by most goals (if the others tie among them)
Group H: I agree

Anonymous said...


Being english (and a quarter colombian, even bigger football fail) , i have decided to put some money on the tournament. I have opted for Holland or Italy to emerge victorious and for the USA to progress to the semi finals. do these seem plausible, and what does the USAs path to the semis look like? ive researched but information is sparce. Any tips are welcome too but i cant promise a cut of the winnings :D

thank you, Alfonzo

El Erik said...

USA's path: they cross with group group D, with Germany, Australia, Ghana and Serbia. If they make it to the quarterfinal they could play Argentina/Nigeria/South Corea/Greece or Mexico/France/South Africa/Uruguay.

Netherlands and Italy could face each other already in the round of 16, in case either finishes first and second in their respective groups. If not, they could meet in the final only. If they both win their groups, Italy's path could plausibly be with Spain/Brazil and Argentina, while the Dutch could be facing Portugal/Chile and England.

But good tips. I agree with the Netherlands. Italy is not looking strong, but on the other hand, Italy is always strong :)

Cheers from a half-Colombian.

Anonymous said...

Seems like you were off on a lot of counts!