World Cup Preview: Group Stage
Every four years the entire World turns their attention to the game of Soccer. In America we tend to become consumed with the game for a month, and go back to our regularly scheduled programming. The World Cup in America tends to be an excuse for Americans to gamble, booze, and this year, show our true hatred for the Brits. With that, here are my picks to advance out of the Group Stage into the Round of 16 (Note: I like to think that I know a lot about soccer. That’s a comment coming from the guy who holds a middle school record for most goals allowed in a game, 12).
France- the French should advance easily out of this group with a great attack of Henry, Ribery, and Anelka.
Mexico- has advanced to the round of 16 in the last four World Cups, a trend that should continue in 2010.
Argentina- with arguably the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, the Argentinians will advance with no problems.
Greece- I’ll be honest I know nothing about the Greek team except they are ranked 12th in the world and 21 of their 23 players have last names ending in a vowel followed by the letter “S”. How can you bet against that? Well in the case of Greece, its hard to place a bet on anything when your country is bankrupt.
United States- this might be the best squad the U.S.A. has sent to the World Cup. Although they lost a lot of speed with the injury to Charlie Davies, the team will be physical in their opening match against England and eventually advance as the top seed of this group.
England- the Brits will be involved in the Revolutionary War II June 12th, and like the first war the outcome will not different. The Brits shouldn’t worry though because Slovenia and Algeria are terrible, making advancing to the final 16 easy.
Germany- even without team captain Michael Ballack, the team should be fine because of their stellar defense.
Serbia- it was a tossup between the Aussies and the Serbians, and since I know very little about each of the teams I took a look at the last names of the players. Like in the case of Greece, Serbia won out because their team had a whopping 18 of 23 players who had last names ending in “IC”.
Netherlands- the Dutch are a solid team up front with Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel and at the midfield position with Nigel De Jong and Mark Van Bommel. The Dutch advance easily.
Cameroon- will be the only African country to advance to the round of 16. The performance of Samuel Eto’o will be the key to how far team Cameroon will make it in this tournament. An amazing turnaround in 20 years for a country that was god awful in World Cup Soccer for Nintendo.
Italy- the defending champs might be in the easiest group in the entire tournament and because of this single fact. they will advance with no trouble at all.
Paraguay- this group really sucks and Paraguay is the best of the worst, I guess. Does it really matter who the second team that comes from this group since they will probably lose their first game in the round of 16?
Brazil- is one of the favorites to win it all this year and rightfully so with a roster that includes Robinho, Kaka, and Luis Fabiano. Although in the “Group of Death” the Brazilians should survive to tell about it.
Portugal- I had to pick Portugal here because Drogba for the Ivory Coast will be limited in how he plays with the cast on his arm. The Portuguese are no slouches though, led by one of the best strikers in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo.
Spain- the odds on favorites to win it all with Brazil, the Spaniards head into the World Cup with one of the deepest and most balanced squads. They are a lock to advance to the round of 16.
Chile- similarly to Group F, this group is a battle for second. The Chilean squad is pretty young and fairly talented and they get the edge for second because of these factors and that my favorite baseball player growing up was Chili Davis.
Questions? Comments? I highly doubt there are but for some reason if there is you can contact me at Chris@seatgeek.com and on Twitter @SeatGeek.
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