Friday, June 4, 2010

Group B Preview

Group B is one of the most straight-forward of all the groups at this year's World Cup. There is a distinct front runner, a strong second team, a dark horse, and a weak fourth. Let's start from the top:

The group is headlined by Argentina. Anyway with any knowledge of football knows that Argentina will advance out of the group. With Diego Milito, Carlos Tevez, and World Player of the Year Lionel Messi leading the attack look for Argentina to score early and often in the group stage. However, they might come into trouble early in the knockout rounds when first-time head coach and Argentina legend Diego Maradona leads his team against stiffer competition. If Maradona turns out to be a coach in name only then look for Argentina to exit by the quarterfinals, but if he truly can manage his squad then look for Argentina to be amongst the last four teams standing in South Africa.

Arguably the best African team at the World Cup, Nigeria has a lot to live up to. After going away from their traditional up-tempo attacking style to a more hard-nosed defensive game the Super Eagles have become a strong team in the defensive third. Look for John Obi Mikel to lead the offense and take Nigeria to the knockout round but no farther.

Eight years after their Cinderella run to the semifinals on home soil South Korea is back, but nowhere as strong as it was in 2002. Most of the squad has turned over and it will come down to whether or not their young and inexperienced attackers can handle the pressure. There match with Nigeria will decide who goes on with Argentina to the second round.

You know those participation awards you used to get back in summer camp? Well, that is all that Greece will have to show for their 2010 World Cup. The team that stunned the world by winning Euro 2004 is all gone, and the current squad is nowhere near as good. They might pull off a win against the Koreans, but it will take devine intervention from Zeus himself to push the Greeks beyond the group stage.

Winner: Argentina
Advances: Nigeria

Tomorrow: Group C Preview

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