World Cup Predictions Part II
June 7, 2010 Leave a comment
Warm greetings once more.
Last week we examined the world cup group stages and in order of group winner and runner-up I concluded that these would be the teams involved in the knockout stages of the tournament.
Group A: France, South Africa Group B: Argentina, Nigeria
Group C: England, USA Group D: Germany, Australia
Group E: Holland, Cameroon Group F: Italy, Paraguay
Group G: Brazil, Ivory Coast Group H: Spain, Chile
Thank you for your opinion last week. I thoroughly enjoyed our debates. I fear some of these may have to change now owing to the injury crisis of the last week but I shall do the honourable thing and stick to my predictions. For example I doubt Ivory Coast will make it now without Drogba but I tipped them last week so I shall hold on to that one. But now it is time to get into the business end of the world’s greatest sporting event. In the Last sixteen I foresee the following fixtures:
France vs Nigeria: Unfortunately the Nigerians have lost the fear factor they possessed in the 1990’s and I think the ocassion will be too big for them.
England vs Australia: The Ashes is now a football match. I think the Aussies will give as good as they get but ultimately the Poms will win this one.
Germany vs USA: Even without Michael Ballack the three-time world champions should win this one. It is a repeat of the 2002 quarterfinal. Germany won then and they will win here too.
Argentina vs South Africa: My heart would love nothing more than an upset win for my beloved Bafana Bafana. But my head asks how will Aaron Mokoena handle Lionel Messi? How will Kagisho Dikgacoi stop Juan Sebastian Veron?
Holland vs Paraguay: The South Americans were supreme in their qualifying campaign but unfortunately the qualifiers actually count for nothing once you are on the biggest stage. The Dutch to triumph.
Brazil vs Chile: If nothing else this will be an entertaining match as South American teams play with flair and passion. The Chileans will do what they can to stop their more illustrious opponents but ultimately it will be in vain.
Italy vs Cameroon: On this day I plan to wear my Samuel Eto’o shirt. Sadly you can wear any shirt you like and sing hymns all day long but it will be to no avail. The Azurri will somehow cheat and pillage their way to victory.
Spain vs Ivory Coast: Would it not be wonderful if Kalou and Toure could win this one? It would be a fairy tale victory for sure. The problem is that this is real and not a Disney movie. Au revoir, Cote D’Ivoire.
From here we move on to the quarterfinals.
Holland vs Brazil: This will be a great match as both teams actually play football. A 3-2 result is hardly out of the question or even a 4-3. Whatever happens the team with the most goals will be Brazil.
France vs England: Raymond Domenech has experienced incredible luck as France manager. That luck will run out here. That said neither of these two sides deserve more than a quarterfinal berth and the good fortune of a quarterfinal meeting means one will be in the final four. I expect the English to win.
Argentina vs Germany: This will be an explosive encounter. The Argies have the better players. The Germans have a better history. In 2006 these two contested an epic quarterfinal in which the Germans won on penalties. This time it is Argentina’s turn.
Italy vs Spain: Corruption and conniving can only get you so far. If the European champions score first it is game over for the Italians. La Roja may score a second and even a third if I have my way. Spain win.
And now the semifinals:
England vs Brazil: Fabio Capello will be seen as a hero for taking England to their best world cup result since Sir Bobby Robson’s class of 1990. Can David James handle what the Selecao bombard him with? I doubt it. Ditto for Rio Ferdinand. The five-time world champions to overwhelm the Three Lions.
Argentina vs Spain: What a memorable encounter this could be. It really is one of those that could go either way. Spain could be without Torres. Veron, in the twilight of his career, would never have been this close to world cup glory. I expect the midfielder to orchestrate a win for Maradona’s men.
This sets up an all-South American final. What a wonderful way to wrap up Africa’s first world cup.
Brazil vs Argentina. They played in the final of the Copa America in 2007 and the five-time world champions hammered the Argies 3-0. In the world cup qualifiers there was more success for the Brazilians. Well in sport success is cyclical and with that in mind I am tipping Javier Mascherano to raise the world cup high on July 11th.
Feel free to argue.
Heal the world