The World Cup is right around the corner and it seems like everywhere you turn someone is saying 'this and that will happen you'll see'. So I just thought it was my turn to give out some predictions. Now some of this predictions will make you want to throw a shoe at me while others will maake you wonder 'what is this guy on?!' But bare with me, and leave your comments at the end (And try to be nice I'm just starting on this Bleacher Report thing, and I'm more used to writing in spanish!)
Sure they are the hosts and hence will have the home crowd behind them, but being totally honest with you they are the least talented host in history! No offense to the Bafana-Bafana but I just don’t see how they could beat Mexico or Uruguay. However I could see them shocking ‘les bleus’ with a 1-0 scoreline. Truth be told I would be even more shocked to see France go through the group, not only do they lack total confidence in their coach Raymond Domenech but they also lack any type of self pride. (Which was clearly visible in the 3-0 defeat they suffered in Paris against Spain.)
Sorry Leo Messi, I know this world cup is supposed to be your coronation, but you will have to wait for Brazil 2014. The Argentinean national team, like the French, suffer from a total lack of trust in coach Diego Maradona. Maradona has successfully alienated several of the players by constantly saying any type of Argentinean success will have to depend on Leo Messi. It is widely known the Barcelona prodigy has been unable to reproduce his amaizing club form with the national team and that also is on Maradona’s shoulders. In Barcelona, Messi not only has the amazing Xavi to feed him balls, but he is mostly allowed to roam freely in the final third of the pitch , while in Argentina he is usually locked down on a position, which simply allows opposition defenders to key in on that zone and neutralize him.
Ghana and Australia are amongst the most overlooked teams in the tournament. Germany recently lost Michael Ballack to a criminal foul in the FA Cup final which means they not only lost a key part of Low’s midfield but also their leader. I had my doubts about Germany even before the injury to be totally honest with you, especially due to the lack of team speed and the apparent lack of flair in the midfield (yes despite Schweinsteiger et al.). But this injury might be a bit too much for the Germans to overcome.
Yes, they are favorites; yes they probably have the most talented roster in the tournament. So how can they not make it? Simple. Injuries to their key players. Fernando Torres is coming off surgery, Xavi has beein playing injured the last couple of weeks, Andres Iniesta has had an injury-full season and Cesc Fabregas is also coming off surgery. Don’t take me wrong I hope Spain actually wins it this time (of course I would rather have Mexico win it but that’s a whole other story) but I think all the injuries and the apparent lack of a premier fitness level that some of its stars suffer from will cost them too much.
They have one soft spot, one, they lack a true elite goalkeeper. That is the only question I have heading into the tournament, can the English back line be good enough to prevent their goalkeepers from seeing much action? If they can, there is no doubt they will go all the way. They have two elite midfielders in Lampard and Gerrard. An elite striker in Wayne Rooney, the best back four in the whole world (Johnson, Terry, Ferdinand and Cole) and the rest of the players are a more than solid supporting cast. This could actually be the year when they finally win it but in order to do that they will have to beat their greatest historical enemy, themselves.