The Champs are back to defend their crown in Group F, and they will have no problem advancing.
Four years ago Italy took the cup back to the the peninsula after defeating France in an epic on penalty kicks. This year's incarnation of the Azzuri is not as good as four years ago, but they can still play with the best in the world. They will advance out of a very strong group, but their age could catch up with them later in the tournament. Look for a run to the second round and nothing more for Italy.
The next best team in the group is Paraguay. Not only are they one of the top teams in South America, but they will be playing with a purpose. Their star, Salvador Cabanas, was shot in the head in Mexico City back in January. Paraguay will be eager to play for him and his honor. Look for Paraguay to advance to the second round.
Every groups seems to have a dark horse and Group F is know different. Slovakia is a solid team that beat the Czechs in their qualifying group. They play a fast and aggressive style that will please the fans. However, better teams such as Paraguay and Italy will be able to exploit their aggressiveness and turn it against them. Look for Slovakia to play fun football before exiting early.
The final team in the group is New Zealand. All I have to say about New Zealand is enjoy South Africa, it's a beautiful country, and get ready to get steamrolled. They have no chance.
Tomorrow: Group G