Monday, May 31, 2010

FIFA World Cup 2010 predictions REVISED

So I continue to gather information (internet, magazines, podcasts) and I've made some changes to my predictions. Nothing major, just some results. Still produced the same round of 16 but a lot of results depend on whether key games end in draws or wins.

Here are my group standings and thoughts:

Group A

1 France 7

2 Uruguay 5

3 Mexico 2

4 South Africa 1

I believe Mexico must win their first game to make it out of the group. Otherwise, they will not score enough goals to progress.

Why am I picking France? I don’t know. Terrible coach, key injuries, lack of scoring. Hints of 2002 (not progressing out of the group stage) are definitely being picked up.

Uruguay will progress, while South Africa will get a host nation bump but won’t progress.

Group B

1 Argentina 9

2 Greece 4

3 South Korea 4

4 Nigeria 0

Who knows what impact Maradona will have? Argentina will be a quarterfinalist or not make it out of the group. With the firepower they have, surely they will score goals. At the other end . . . . ?

As for the rest of the group, if there is a winner in S.Korea/Greece, that team will progress. I’m not getting any positive vibes re: Nigeria. They have Lagerback as coach, but I’m not sure if that’s enough.

Group C

1 England 9

2 USA 4

3 Slovenia 2

4 Algeria 1

I originally picked a three way tie for second, with a lot of draws and having the US progressing on goals scored, but I have altered my predictions. US are going to put up a great fight against England but won’t win. I think they will draw Slovenia and beat Algeria. We’ll see.

Group D

1 Serbia 7

2 Germany 4

3 Ghana 3

4 Australia 1

I have argued that this is the group of death rather than the Brazil group. A very balanced group that could go any number of ways. Germany has been weakened by the loss of Ballack and Ghana has lost Essien, so those injuries could further complicate the group.

I’m on Serbia bandwagon. I thought they would have a strong showing and might win the group, and once Ballack was ruled out, I’m picking them to go through to the quarters (win the group and beat US in 2nd round).

I see Germany having enough will and talent to make the round of 16 but losing to England.

I really want Ghana to do well and make another strong showing, but I just don’t see it happening.

Australia is going to do poorly. They had a great run ended by a dodgy penalty four years ago, but I don’t see them any stronger and it sounds as if their coach is not making the difference.

Group E

1 Holland 7

2 Cameroon 5

3 Denmark 2

4 Japan 1

I see Holland making a strong showing and fall to Brazil in the quarters.

The rest of the group is balanced, but I’m guessing that Cameroon will somehow pull through to represent Africa.

Group F Group of Ugh.

1 Paraguay 7

2 Italy 5

3 Slovakia 4

4 New Zealand 0

If there is a winner of Paraguay/Italy, that team will win the group, and I also think that Slovakia might sneak in.

I’m very down on Italy. Too much of the old guard, not enough edge up front. I would like them to go out quietly but Lippi will find a way to make it to the second round.

New Zealand is in a race with North Korea as the worst team of the tournament.

Group G

1 Brazil 7

2 Portugal 5

3 Ivory Coast 4

4 North Korea 0

Brazil wins the group.

I’ve seen and heard so many conflicting reports on Portugal that I can only go by what I’ve seen. I watched several qualifiers and the playoff tie. They can’t score. They aren’t going to give up any goals but I have yet to see them dominate and lay the hammer down, even with Ronaldo, Nani, Simao, etc. I’m picking them to come second but if there is a winner between Portugal and Ivory Coast, that team will come second and face Spain.

Group H

1 Spain 7

2 Chile 5

3 Switzerland 4

4 Honduras 0

Spain should get through this group relatively easily. Switzerland will probably be a 1-0 tense opening game but after that they should be good. Honduras will be organized but I don’t see them scoring. The Chile game will be dependent on their first 2 results.

I’m going with Chile to advance, because they will go for it and I want them to be rewarded. Switzerland is too conservative and doesn’t have enough edge and Honduras just doesn’t have the talent and experience to progress. Having said all of that, if Chile doesn’t win their opening game, they have will have to for it against Spain, which will open them up and could cost them.

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