The biggest event on the planet is about to start I cannot shy away from it.

The biggest event on the planet is about to start I cannot shy away from it. It is taking place in my country and I am attending at least TEN matches! I cannot wait. This letter will act as part one in a two-part series of my predictions. This week I shall discuss the Group stages and next week the knockouts. Feel free to debate, disagree or endorse. My great friend Peter Stemmet wrote this piece and he and I have been debating this for weeks, in fact we will be sitting all together at the Argentina vs Nigeria game in Joburg on Sat 12 June ( Argentina to win 3- 0 ) and he allowed me to publish this on my blog

Group A: South Africa, France, Mexico, Uruguay.

No host nation has ever failed to qualify for the second round of a world cup and it is not about to start now. Granted on paper Bafana Bafana has no business being at this tournament but if Korea could reach the semifinals in 2002 and the Yanks could reach the Last 16 in 1994 then my country will qualify from this group as runners-up to France.

Les Bleus are also not what they once were but I am tipping them to overcome the Latin American contingent in this group. Watch out for the hosts to beat Mexico 1-0 in the opening match at SoccerCity.

Group B: Argentina, Greece, Nigeria, South Korea.

Diego Maradona’s team with the likes of Messi, Veron, Tevez, Higuian, Milito, Gutierez and Heinze will walk this group. Africa will have a second team in the second round and since I am still bitter about the Greeks ruining Euro 2004 with their Italian-style antics and tactics I am tipping the Asians to beat the HellenicRepublic too.

Group C: England, Algeria, Slovenia, USA.

England are always more hype than anything else. They do not have a goalkeeper, no one to partner Wayne Rooney up front and seriously, can you imagine Rio Ferdinand lifting the world cup trophy? I cannot. That said if they are unable to top this group then they are truly rubbish. The States to finish second.

Group D: Germany, Australia, Ghana, Serbia.

Even without Michael Ballack the Germans will be competitive. I am backing my favourite European team to win this group with the Aussies as runners-up. Ghana have just lost Michael Essien so as if this group was not enough of a nightmare, the Black Stars now have to make do without their star player. They won’t.

Group E: Holland, Cameroon, Denmark, Japan.

The Dutch blow everyone away in the group stages when there is little pressure. I expect the same here. Africa has never had more than one team in the Last 16 at a Fifa World Cup but thanks to Cameroon it will be at least three. The Danes are not great and the Japanese will be the group’s wooden spoonists.

Group F: Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay, Slovakia.

Since I refuse to call them the world champions, I shall say the winners of the last world cup, Italy have really extended their lucky streak with this group. They will beat New Zealand and Slovakia and draw against Paraguay, who will end second.

Group G: Brazil, Ivory Coast, North Korea, Portugal.

The country that seems to have a conveyor belt that produces the world’s best footballers will top this group. North Korea will be bottom and that leaves the Iberians and the West Africans. Before the Luiz Felipe Scolari-era the Portuguese boasted players with all the talent, skill and ability imaginable (think Nuno Gomes, Rui Costa, Joao Pinto, Luis Figo) but could not even qualify for a world cup. Now that Big Phil is gone I expect a return to the old order. Didier Drogba to fire Ivory Coast into the Last 16 and increase Africa’s contingent to four.

Group H: Spain, Chile, Honduras, Switzerland.

The European champions are perennial underachievers but there is a sense that something special could take place this time around. Sorry Spain, no European team has ever won a world cup outside of Europe and that is not about to change. Still they will top the group with their former colony Chile, not Honduras, in second.

Next week I shall take this forward with a look at who will knock who out. Looking forward to your response this week.

.

About Martin Myers
Music Supervisor / Artist and Talent Manager / Publicist / Music Exchange Founder / Owner Triple M Entertainment

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