World Cup 2010 Preview: Groups G and H

Leslie CarlsonContributor IJune 8, 2010

SCHRUNS, AUSTRIA - JUNE 02:  Goalkeeper Victor Valdes of Spain in action during a training session on June 2, 2010 in Schruns, Austria.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Group G:

Ah, the group of death. Aside from North Korea, all of these teams have the talent and chance to advance past the first round and further. This is the fantasy soccer  player's nightmare.

Brazil is looking to win the World Cup  and definitely are the favorites to do so. Cesar, Kaka, and Fabiano will get them there. The only reason their defense may not come out with clean sheets is because the quality of the offenses in this group is very high.

Ivory Coast is probably the best African nation team this year. The roster has six strikers instead of the normal four as they try to score a lot of goals since their defense may not hold up against the Portugal and Brazil offenses. Drogba has a broken arm, and they will hope that losing their top striker doesn’t take them out of the running for the number two slot.

Sorry, North Korea. Your 106th  ranking and placement in the group of death will give you one of the smallest chances of advancing in the tournament. They have two somewhat stand out players—Jong Tae-se and Hong Yong-yo.

Portugal has a chance to be upset and not make it out of the group stages as well. They had to win a playoff game to make it through qualifying and haven’t beaten a very talented team in awhile. Cristiano Ronaldo may have to hold this team on his back, but the pressure might make him crumble.

Group H:

Chile gave up a lot of goals in qualifying as their defense is weak, and they run a 3-3-1-3 formation. Their attack is made up of Suazo, Fernandez, and Sanchez.

They have inexperience and are young, but whether this will hurt them is yet to be seen. Claudo Bravo will have to make up for the lack of defense in front of him, but he could still come away with a shut out.

Honduras has a lower world ranking, but will be Chile’s competition for grabbing the number two spot in this group. Carlo Costly and Carlos Pavon are very consistent scorers up front. Midfielder Palacios may be their best player and is definitely a threat to score as well.

Spain will win this group, and they might win the whole tournament too. They are skilled, and most of their players are in their prime. Every player in their starting 11 is extremely talented.

What is different about Spain is that their defense is extremely strong, so on top of scoring goals, they could come out with shut outs.

Switzerland isn’t favored to make it out of the group stages, but they can be pesky. Even though Frei and Nkufo are older, they can still score. Goalkeeper Benaglio and the Swiss defense only gave up eight goals in qualifying.