2010 Fifa World Cup Preview: Groups C and D

Leslie CarlsonContributor IJune 7, 2010

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 06:  The match ball for England's opening fixture against USA is seen during the adidas/FIFA Referees Media Day on June 6, 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images for adidas)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Group C

It is quite possible that England could run away with this group if they play well. A lot of U.S. fans believe they’re a lock to advance, too … but there are several reasons not to be too confident in World Cup play.

Algeria is full of injuries, including starters Madjid Bougherra and Mourad Meghini.

They have minimal experience so these injuries are going to hurt them tremendously.

They still have their best player, Karim Ziani, but it would take a lot of luck and effort to get these guys past round one.

England is ranked eighth in the world. They didn’t make it to Euro 2008, but now they have a new manager (Fabio Capello), and won nine of their 10 qualifying games.

They’re a team that can compete for the final. Rooney, Lampard, and Gerard are all strong players for England. They may have a few shutouts in the first round, but when (yes, when) they make it to the Round of 16 that could be a different story.

Slovenia is not a heavy scoring team, but when they do it will most likely be by Milivoje Novakovic and captain Robert Koren.

For Slovenia to do well, Koren will have to be playing at the top of his gane.

Their goalkeeper, Samir Handanovic, could possibly wrap up a clean sheet against Algeria.

That would help a lot.

This year’s United States team boasts something different — a number of international players who have played well outside of the United States.

They have a new manager (Bob Bradley), and are looking to make it out of the group stages.

Their top three players and the ones scoring most of the goals will be Dempsey, Donovan, and Altidore (he’s healthy, folks!)

Group D

This group has become one of the most competitive.

Australia, however, will be facing teams in this groups who are much more talented than those they have faced recently.

They boast a world ranking of 20, but will have difficulty making it out of the group stages.

It is a team of veterans, so they have experience…but they are also older. Look for Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell making an impact.

Germany is ranked sixth in the world, but Michael Ballack has been injured and they are desperately trying to find a replacement.

Bastian Schweinsteiger will be most likely to take his place, but defender Philipp Lahm will probably take his captain seat.

Even with the injuries, Germany will probably finish first in Group D.

Ghana is dealing with injuries as well with Michael Essein now out. They will need new leadership.

Asamoah Gyan is not a big name yet, but he is talented and has the opportunity to shine with Essein gone.

Anthony Annan will have to fill the hole at midfield. He doesn’t have much experience, but if he can find the right moments to play well, Ghana could still advance.

Ghana will be competing with Serbia for the number two spot in the group. Somehow even with their ranking of 15th in the world, not many people are expecting Serbia to succeed.

However, they gave a good manager and lots of quality players in their first independent appearance at the World Cup .

6’8” Nikola Zigic is a very large man and may be able to intimidate other players on the field. Their midfield boasts Stankovic and Jovanovic, both talented players.