Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
Blog Entry

First thought's of a draw...

Posted on: December 5, 2009 6:00 am
 
So the World cup draw has been done, the lines are drawn and the groups have been established...
But where does that leave everyone?
How does that affect everyone's chances of qualification and the ramifications of not topping a group?

These are my early thought's on each group and their chances of qualifying...
Category: Soccer
Comments

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: December 23, 2009 10:52 am
 

First thought's of a draw...

Group  E...

Holland:

Easy favorites for the group and rightly so...
Holland are, and always will be, a great footballing team, they have quality and skill in abundance but just not the luck...
I feel the Dutch will approach this group with caution but also with the thoughts of the KO stages too...
It's hard to see where the real threat comes from in this group for the Dutch...
I see them getting of to the usual explosive start and romping the goup...
I'm sure theyll give us some scares too...
But I think they'll leave them for the following rounds...

Game order: Denmark, Japan, Cameroon

Chances of Qualification: 8

Denmark:

The Danes will surely prove quite a test for most in the World cup, I see them as quite hard to break down, they do have quite a fine keeper as of right now!!!
Hard working and tough tackling will probably get them through the group stages...
If they can cope with the weather...
Like most European teams, hot weather makes the Euros wilt and die...
None more than the Danes...
Except maybe England!!!
Cameroon will be the big game for the Danes and possibly the decider for the 2nd team through...

Game order: Holland, Cameroon, Japan

Chances of Qualification: 6

Japan:

I like the Japanese but like some of the other nations I like, this is gonna be a short tourney...
Japan have come on quite a long way and are acctually quite a good team, unlike some, they deserve their spot here...
Pace and skill will help these boys but a fear of being over powered could be their downfall...
With 2 more physical sides, plus the Dutch, leaves qualification very unlikley for the Japanese...
But underestimate them and they really could suprise!!!

Game order: Cameroon, Holland, Denmark

Chances of Qualification: 3

Cameroon:

Just like, what seem's to be all African nations, Cameroon rely on one main man, Samuel Eto'o...
But while no one man makes a team, what a guy to have up front...
Eto'o will be the man all will be looking at in this group, and he'll have quite a responsibility with it!!!
But while carrying the weight of a nation, he's not the only one...
Cameroon are still trying to live up to the hype of 20 years ago and are still struggling with it but this is a new team (almost) and with it, no doubt, a high amount of pace, skill, flair and power...
The latter being in more abundance than the others!!!
Cameroon will prove a tough test and try to muscle their way past most and probably will!!!
I like them for a few upsets, let's just hope they last long enough to deliver one...

Game order: Japan, Denmark, Holland

Chances of Qualification: 6

This group should provide an easy winner but the Danes and Cameroon could provide a really big upset and Japan, a hard to beat second best, some tough games here...

My final table:

Holland (Q)
Denmark (Q)
Cameroon
Japan



Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: December 12, 2009 4:39 pm
 

First thought's of a draw...

Group D...

Germany:

What may seem like an easy group for the perenial fianlists,is actually quite tricky...
But this is Germany and Germans know what to do and what it takes to get to the next stage...
I like their chances, to be honest, I like Germany...
I think the works ethic they invoke in their teams is immense and will carry them tothe Quarters and possibly beyond...
They have world class tallent form the rear, through the middle and right up to the front...
They can defend a lead, chase a game and kill teams off...
Almost mechanical...
Pure German efficiency...

Game order: Australia, Serbia, Ghana

Chances of qualification:
9

Australia:

Don't get me wrong, I like the Aussies, I just don't fancy their chances...
This isn't exactly the best draw for the socceroos, as a matter of fact, this could be horrible...
For a sports proud nation, this World cup run could be worse than losing the ashes...
And be over before a ODI...
As much as they have some good players, nay, quality players, I don't believe they have the full team to get them the 6 or 7 points to qualify...
All I think they could muster will be a point...
And that depends on how fit Micky Essien is...
Short and sweet for the Aussies this year...

Game order: Germany, Ghana, Serbia

Chances of Qualifcation: 3

Serbia:

Quite an underatted team, or should that be country?
Serbia used to be part of Yugoslavia, the realllly good Yugo team, and them partnered with Montenegro (?) now, they're just their own country...
And they've brought talent with them...
This is a hard working team with flair and any team boasting Vidic at the back, is never gonna be needing many goals to win...
But a poor performance at the last World cup can spell disaster for them, have they learnt?
Time will tell...
Ghana will be the game for these boys...
Lose that and they'll be going home...

Game order: Ghana, Germany, Australia

Chances of Qualification: 5

Ghana:

How much does one man mean to a team?
A lot but he's only just one part of a supreme midfield...
The Ghanaian's may not have the greatest fire power in the international world, this midfield is second to none...
Almost none...
Essien, Muntari and Appiah are quality and have the quality to stiffle anyone or create plenty...
Ghana qualified with ease, losing only once and that was after they qualified!!!
It's also a shame that Germany and Ghana play each other last, the group could be done by then...
Shame really...
I think they can chase Germany all the way for top spot and no-one will want to play this lot in the knockout stages...
If England win their group, they could be playing Germany or Ghana next...
Oh that's tough...

Game order: Serbia, Australia, Germany

Chances of Qualification: 7

Germany should win the group, Ghana will push them tough but Serbia should be the (soft) dark horses here, I feelfor the Aussies though...

My final table:

Germany (Q)
Ghana (Q)
Serbia
Australia



Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: December 10, 2009 3:39 pm
 

First thought's of a draw...

Group C...

England:

The team that can go all the way, the best squad in years, no one can stop them...
Jeez, I sound like the English press!?!
But this isn't about how far they'll go, this is about getting out of the group...
And out of the group they'll go, probably topping it with max points too...
This is a good group for England, with their toughest game first and everything getting better after that...
England flatter to decieve, most of the time, but this group are being lead well, Capello is a good coach and England will qualify from this group with the same style as they qualified with...

Game order: USA, Algeria, Slovenia

Chances of qualifying: 9

USA:

Like England, this is a good group for the US but saying that, it's not exactly Brazil were talking about...
The US, like England, are lead and organised well and should have enough in them to join England in the latter stages...
Although no team wants to get off to a losing start, losing to Engalnd in a close game could well galvanise the Doodles for the latter stages...
The Yanks can get 6 or 7 points from this group and with it, a shot at the KO stages...
Although 2nd spot could land you Germany!!!

Game order: England, Slovenia, Algeria

Chances of qualifying: 7

Algeria:

An African team, playing in Africa...
These boys have the unknown touch about them...
Sort of...
Beating Egypt in their play-off gave them a bit of recognition but when your best player plays for Pompey...
It kind of says what your getting form their team, while they wont be beaten easily, they will be beaten, possibly in all 3 games...
But still be better than Greece!!!
Algeria are on a learning curve and this is all about experience...
Harsh, but good experience...

Game order: Slovenia, England, USA

Chances of qualifying: 2

Slovenia:

Like Algeria, this bunch have the unknown going for them...
These boys are tough defensivly and really well organised...
Their problem could be how motivated they are in getting to South Africa, job done what's left to prove?
Upsetting two big teams could get this dark horse up and running again, and that could spell big, big trouble for the US...
If the US lose to England and Slovenia beat Algeria, the US will have to come at this defensive team and that could be just what the Slovenians need...
What could let these boys down is scoring goals, they'll defend well but scoring one goal in three games won't put you through...
Dark horse...
Very dark horse...

Game order: Algeria, USA, England

Chances of qualifying: 7

England hold the aces in this group, the US should do well but Slovenia are here as the party spoilers, if Sslovenia go in to win, they could cause the big upset of the tourney and top the group, Germany v England in round two anyone?

My final table:
England (Q)
USA (Q)
Slovenia
Algeria



Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2009 4:33 pm
 

First thought's of a draw...

Group B...

Argentina:

What can you say about this lot?
Tallent?
Class?
Winners?
And what a group to have...
I can't honestly see Argentina not qualify from this group, they're a good side and this lot shouldn't have too much trouble...
Although Nigeria do have a memorable win over Argentina at the World cup, I'm sure we won't see that again...
Need more convincing?
Lionel Messi...
Just put em in the Quarters and we'll go from there...

Game order: Nigeria, South Korea, Greece

Chances of qualifying: 9 out of 10

Nigeria:

I'm loving these boys, just fun to watch...
They have no idea how to defend but sure as hell know how to go forward...
Nigeria have quite a lot to offer and should get quite a lot of support too, they should feel quite at home playing in South Africa and other than Argentina, shouldn't have any trouble getting out of this group...

Game order: Argentina, Greece, South Korea

Chances of qualifying: 8

South Korea:

Guus Hiddink was the shinning light in South Korean football...
He ain't there now and nor are these boys...
As much as it's nice to see all new sides playing, I just don't feel that the Koreans got a fair deal in this draw...
They are fun to watch, in a kind of support hte under dog way, but this year see's them in with two good sides that'll tear them apart...
Sth Korea won't embarass themselves but they won't go far either...

Game order: Greece, Argentina, Nigeria

Chances of qualifying: 3

Greece:

Shambolic...
Quite a disgrace really...
How did this lot ever get to the World cup?
Maybe if Ireland had offered to take Greece's spot, FIFA may have given it to them...
How they ever won a major tournament is beyond me...

Game order: South Korea, Nigeria, Argentina

Chances of qualifying: 0

This group comes down to two teams, Argentina and Nigeria, the others are here to make up the numbers...

My final table:
Argentina (Q)
Nigeria (Q)
South Korea
Greece



Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: December 5, 2009 9:05 am
 

First thought's of a draw...

Agree Mexico will top the group, but I think France will go through in second.

France have the strongest squad in the group and this will become obvious in the final group game when they come up against the hosts.



Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2009 6:47 am
 

First thought's of a draw...

Group A...

Where better to start?

South Africa:

The home nation and probably the weakest team in this group...
First off, this has to be said and understood, NO home nation has EVER failed to make the knock out part of the tournament.
This is the task facing the African nation and I'll not take any excuses for failure...
Teams such as the 94' American team, 2002 host's Japan and South Korea all made it through to the KO stages, these were worse teams than this current Sth African team and I think the host's will make it through...
One thing that makes home nations perform so well is the support they get and for those of you who watched the Confederations cup, you may remember the "noise" (I don't remember what the musical instrument was called) generated by the Africans, it was deafening and will provide quite an inspiration for the hosts...

Game order: Mexico, Uruguay, France

Chances of qualifying: 7 out of 10

Mexico:

Mexico have always turned it on for the World cup and this one should be no different, forget qualifying, these are the results that matter...
Mexico have quite a fine tradition of going quite far and upsetting a few bigger names along the way...
I'm going for Mexico to top the group, I think they have the experience and tallent to pull away from this tough group, leaving the others to sweat it out...

Game order: South Africa, France, Uruguay

Chances of qualifying: 8

Uruguay:

The former twice champions make their long awaited return to top tier football and it's good to see them back...
Although, those two wins did come quite a long time ago and it's been a while for them with this kind of pressure, with a tough group to boot...
Uruguay do have the unknown element on their side and this could provide quite a few shockers, mostly for the French, who have more pressure to perform than most...
I don't know enough about Uruquay to make a difinitive comment about them but they are South American and that means tallent!!!

Game order: France, South Africa, Mexico

Chances of qualifying: 5

France:

Despite how the French got here, they got here...
First the good news, these are the current World cup runners up, not so long ago, they won it and backed it up with the European championships two years later...
They have flair and tallent and are favorites to qualify from this group and will make the other 7 top seeds fearful of them...
Now the bad news, and a heavy dose of reality...
This is one of the worst French sides I've ever seen...
They may have tallent but they don't have leadership, on the pitch or in the managment...
Raymond Domenech has no respect in France and relies on his Premiership players to lead his team...
This is also the same french team that lost at home to Ireland, over 90 minutes, when a draw was needed, they were runners up in their group after a very poor qualifying campaign...
But they are here in South Africa and I'm sure they can produce results...
They could have done with an easier group and maybe this is the best they could have hoped for...
But I think the French will falter if they don't win their first game...
After Uruguay, they get the harder two teams in the group...

As an unbiased Irishman, I think this French team will falter before they even kick a ball...

Game order: Uruguay, Mecico, South Africa

Chances of qualifying: 6

This is really a 50 50 group, of all groups where all teams can qualify, this is the one, goal difference could decide this group and probably will...

My final table:

Mexico (Q)
South Africa(Q)
France
Uruguay


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com