Monday, June 7, 2010

Group E Preview

Unlike the other seven groups there is no walkover in Group E. There are three teams that have legitimate shots of advancing and a fourth that could wreak havoc in the group.

The group is highlighted by the Orange Crush known as The Netherlands. It is certain that this year's incarnation, which is led by Robin van Persie, Dirk Kuyt, and Arjen Robben will advance out of the group. However, problems will arise in the knockout rounds if the Dutch fall flat when it counts most, like they have done in the past two World Cups. Also, mediocre goaltending could hamper the Dutch from going deep in the tournament.

Cameroon has the best nickname in the tournament and arguably the best player as well. The Indomitable Lions, who shocked the world by taking gold in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney will be a force to be reckoned with in South Africa. The offense is led by international superstar Samuel Eto'o and is chocked full of capable young talent that will make Cameroon the toughest of all the African teams at the tournament. Look for the Indomitable Lions to beat the Dutch, win the group, and advance to the quarterfinals.

Denmark, like Slovenia, practices a team first philosophy. A squad that is short on star power was still able to win their qualifying group that featured a very strong Portuguese team. The biggest name for the Danes is Nicklas Bendtner who plays for top English club, Arsenal. They will make life tricky in the group, but they will lose against the Netherlands and Cameroon which will all but eliminate their chances for advancement.

The final team in Group E is Japan. The Blue Samurai (damn, these football nicknames are awesome) have never won a World Cup game off the Asian continent. They might be able to sneak a win against the Danes and perhaps Cameroon if the Lions come in flat. Their offense is a big weak spot which will mean that capitalizing on chances will be imperative in order for Japan to sneak out of Group E.

Tomorrow: Will I pick the reigning champs to advance to the second round? Come back tomorrow and find out when I preview Group F

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