World Cup Predictions

Bryan GoldbergSenior Writer IJune 19, 2006

Icon Game 1: Germany (1st A) over Sweden (2nd B)
Both of these teams have benefited from groups in which they could not lose. Germany will beat Ecuador to win theirs, and Sweden will probably lose to England and still go through thanks to weak competitors in Trinidad and Paraguay . Expect the hapless Swedes to lose by a comfortable margin, perhaps 2-0. Swedens' Slata Ibrahimovic is the bust of the tournament so far, and he will do nothing in their loss.

Game 2: Argentina (1st C) over Mexico (2nd D)

How unstoppable is Argentina right now? Poor Mexico will have to find out. This matchup is highly speculative, as the Argentina-Holland and Mexico-Portugal games will determine who wins the respective groups. But Argentina and Portugal only need ties in order for the above scenario to take place, and when it does, Mexico will get their asses handed to them. I predict 3-1 Argentina .

Game 3: Italy (1st E) over Croatia (2nd F)

 Were it not for Croatias' draw against Japan , I might have picked them to win this one. They looked great against Brazil . Even so, I think that Italy has already had their wakeup call against the US , and they will probably take the group. Croatia is a solid team, but not god enough to beat Italy . It will be a solid win at 2-0.

Game 4: Ukraine (2nd H) over Korea (1st G)

I think that Korea will somewhat surprise the world by beating Switzerland easily and taking group G. But don't expect them to beat Ukraine . Like Italy , Ukraine got a huge wakeup call against Spain , and their confidence will be running high after they waltz by Tunisia . It will be close at 1-0.

Game 5: England (1st B) over Ecuador (2nd A)

Ecuador has been a huge surprise in this tournament, but they will become a footnote once England beats them. The English literally turned the page in the final third of their match against Trinidad , and they won't look back for a while. England will win 2-0.

Game 6: Netherlands (2nd C) over Portugal (1st D)

 It's a shame that two very good divisions have to square off in the Round of 16. Portugal will sweep their group and "win" the chance to play The Netherlands. It will be a very close game, perhaps it will even go to penalty kicks after a 1-1 result.  

Game 7: Brazil (1st F) over Ghana (2nd E)

 I feel bad for picking Ghana , but they will only need a tie against us to go on. And they're pretty damn good. It doesn't matter, though, since Brazil awaits whoever takes our division's second spot. I think Brazil is slightly overrated, but will nonetheless win 3-0. It will be their biggest win of the tournament.

Game 8: Spain (1st H) over Switzerland (2nd G)

I don't know much about the overachieving Swiss team, but I do know that Spain is thirsty after their unfair departure from Korea in 2002. And their team has only gotten better and more experienced. With an exciting win against Tunisia, they avoided grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory in Group H. I predict 2-1 Spain in this one.

Game 9: Argentina over Germany

The Germans have a chant that goes "Berlin ! Berlin ! We're going to Berlin !" And they might very well go there if Argentina loses to the Dutch. But that won't happen. And even though I think that Germany has semi-final level talent, their seeding sucks. In hindsight, many Germans will look back and bemoan a very tough draw in this tournament. Argentina wins 2-1.

Game 10: Ukraine over Italy

It may sound dumb, but I have Ukraine as one of my dark horses. I think that they will really regroup and be made stronger by their embarrassment in Spain . They were a real favorite coming into the tournament, as the best team in all qualification. Also, I just can't see Italy making it that far in this tourney. They are such pussies. Ukraine 1-0.

Game 11: England over Netherlands

This one can go either way, but the fact is that England is too good this year. They're too experienced, have too much starpower, and know that they cannot set foot in London again without a win. It will be the match of the tournament, with England winning 3-2.

Game 12: Spain over Brazil

There, I've called it first. Brazil goes down early. Their team is old and fat, just like Ronaldo, and they have been counted as winner since day one. Unfairly so. They are vulnerable and will lose to the first team who wants it more. That team will be Spain in penalty kicks after 1-1.

Game 13: Argentina over Ukraine

Ukraine will completely collapse when it gets to this point. I mean, who can beat Argentina right now? They have FC Barcelona's starting playmaker, and he's sitting on the bench! They'll take this game (or whoever they play in the semis) by a 2 goal margin.

Game 14: England over Spain

I think that England may be the most talented team in the tournament. They have some of the best players at every position, and they are so experienced. They normally disappoint, but this year may be different. I think they will beat Spain easily and go on to their first finals in 40 years— once there they will.

Game 15: Argentina over England

Everyone's favorite inexplicably passionate rivalry will commence once again, with Argentina winning it all after a 2-1 come from behind victory.