Thursday, June 10, 2010

Group G & H Preview

Group G has gained the moniker o f "The Group of Death" and for good reason. A group that includes the king of football (Brazil) and two of the best teams in the world (Ivory Coast and Portugal) will mean that it will be difficult for anyone to advance out of the group.

Brazil very simple is the first nation of football. This year's sqaud is highlighted by stars all across the field, but the biggest of the big names is certainly Kaka. Look for him to lead the offense with the typical flash that Brazil usually plays. Look for a run to at least the semifinals and most likely beyond.

The Ivory Coast is the best football nation on the Africa continent. The team will be piloted by Yaya Toure on defense and Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba up front. The Elephants will surprise a lot of people and take down Portugal to advance past the group stage and into the second round.

Portugal are chronic underachievers. When the standards are high they play down, and when the standards are low they live up to them. Even with international superstar Cristiano Ronaldo the Portuguese will wind up with egg on their face yet again. The loss of midfielder Nani will be hard to overcome if Portugal is going to have a chance at advancing.

The last team in the group is North Korea, and they are by no means a pushover. Their game is based around conditioning and counterattacking and they could steal a win or at least a draw based on conditioning alone. They probably won't win a game, but they will be a huge thorn in the side of Group G.

As it seems with most of the groups at this year's World Cup Group H is filled with a surefire quarter finalist, a solid second team, and a few dark horses.

Spain will win the group and advance to at least the quarterfinals. A team that has David Villa, Fernando Torres, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, in the field and Iker Casillas in goal. The Euro 2008 champions will make quick work of an otherwise solid group because of their seemingly endless amount of talent.

The battle for second will get very muddy. Chile is considered to be the number two in the group but it isn't by much. Like most South American teams they have the ability to score from anywhere in the attacking third and they will play an up-tempo style. Humberto Suazo, who had ten goals in qualifying, will lead the way for Chile.

The team I believe will advance alongside Spain is Honduras. They are quick, intense, and can score in bunches. They will also play with a purpose as this will be their first World Cup since 1982. Look for Honduras to be one of the most entertaining teams in the tournament and look for them to advance out of Group H.

Switzerland is a one trick pony. They will only go as far as their star Alexander Frei will take them. He has had recent injuries that have plagued him and look for the Swiss to play uninspired football as a result. They have the talent to advance, but they will fall short.

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