Thursday, December 15, 2005

The draw for the football World Cup is complete. After sometime of thinking about it here are my thoughts 6 months from the event taking place. I will try and update this just before the event after I have seen the teams form at that point. My initial feeling is that Europe will be micu stronger and a European Team will win now it is back on their turf.

Group A: Germany, Costa Rica, Poland and Ecuador.
This draw is kind to the hosts. I see them cruising through along with Poland who looked good in qualifying. Predication:- Germany, Poland, Costa Rica, Ecuador

Group B: England, Paraquay, Trinidad and Tobego and Sweden.
England could not have a better chance to make a deep and possibly succesful run through the tournament. However, after 30 years of failure I find it difficult to believe. The key is winning the group as second means they will probably play Germany. I think that will be too much for the "Three Lions. Unfortuantely I think the hex that Swedwn has will bw maintained causing England to finish 2nd. Prediction:- Sweden, England, Paraquay, Trinidad and Tobago.

Group C: Argentina, Ivory Coast, Serbia and Montenegro and Holland
One of the more interesting groups. Argentina are not as strong as they have been, but, as usual have some fantastic players. Holland also have been playing really well. I think 2006 will finally be the year for the "Oranje". Ivory Coast are a strong African team that may cause the big two some fits, but, will not quite be good enough. Prediction:- Holland, Argentina, Ivory Coast, Serbia and Montengro.

Group D: Mexico, Iran, Angola and Portugal
The most least inspiring group. I know very little about Iran and Angola. After Portugals debacle in 2002 they must have been delighted with this draw. They should be good enough to win this group. Mexico are good, but, in Europe their track record is not brilliant. Prediction: Portugal, Mexico, Iran, Angola

Group E: Italy, Ghana, USA and Czech Republic
The most intiguing group bringing three top 15 ranked teams plus a very good African team. I hate to say this, but, I think the US will fall short. I think the Czechs are one of the most exciting teams in the Competition and will go far and that Italy after struggling a little bit in qualifying and at the last World Cup are due to come good. Prediction: Czech Republic, Italy, USA, Ghana

Group F: Brazil, Croatia, Australia and Japan
Another intriguing group. This is were a think an upset will happen with Australia coming through in second place behind the reigning champions. Prediction: Brazil, Australia, Croatia, Japan

Group G: France, Switzerland, South Korea and Togo
An insipid group which should not cause France to repeat the catastrophy of 2002. The second place team could be any of the next three. I give to Switzerland as the competition is in one of their neighbouring countries. Prediction: France, Switzerland, South Korea, Togo

Group H: Spain, Ukraine, Tunisia and Saudia Arabia
On Paper not very inspiring, but, I think it could be interesting. Spain will win the group but struggle. I think the lone African team to progress will come from this group. A lot depends on the Tunisians gel at the African Nations cup. I can see Saudia Arabia making an upset in this group aswell. Prediction: Spain, Tunisa, Saudia Arabia, Ukraine

Second Round Predictions
Germany beat England I hope I am wrong!
Holland beat Mexico Holland have to much firepower and almost home crowd support for Mexico
Sweden beat Poland Sweden are too solid for Poland
Portugal beat Argentina Portugal have something to prove and Argentina are not quite as good as they usually are (at this moment)
Czech Republic beat Australia Czech's speed of attack to much for Schwarzer and his buddies.
France beat Tunisia I think this game has the potential of a big upset as the Tunisians could beat there former Colonial rulers
Italy beat Brazil A bg upset as the Azuri gain revenge for the 94 final
Spain beat Switzerland. Probably the miss-match of the second round

Quarter-Final Predictions
Holland beat Germany A bitter match, a nightmare for security, but, Holland take home field advantage from the Germans.
Czech Republic beat France France do not have enough left after a scare against Tunisia
Sweden beat Portugal This is not a good match-up for Portugal's style of play
Italy beat Spain After beating Brazil Italy now believes as once again Spain fall short

Semi-Final Predictions
Holland beat Czech Republic In a repeat of qualyfying Holland once again best the free flowing Czechs.
Italy beat Sweden Sweden over achieve, but, this is the end of the line

Final Prediction
Holland beat Italy.
Holland finally exise the ghosts of past near failures and finally take home the price beating Italy in a close and classic match.

I will do this again just before the world cup and afterwards compare how wrong I was. I do not have a very good track record of predicting so I apoligise in advance to the Dutch

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