2010 World Cup Early Predictions
Now that the draw has been announced, it is time to make some predictions. I know it’s insanely early, but I need a way to procrastinate. Here are the different groups, with my projected finishes (from left to right, FIFA Rankings in brackets, and teams that advance in bold):
GROUP A: Mexico (15), South Africa (86), France (7), Uruguay (19)
GROUP B: Argentina (8), Greece (12), Nigeria (22), South Korea (52)
GROUP C: England (9), United States (14), Algeria (28), Slovenia (33)
GROUP D: Germany (6), Australia (21), Ghana (37), Serbia (20)
GROUP E: Netherlands (3), Cameroon (11), Denmark (26), Japan (43)
GROUP F: Italy (4), New Zealand (77), Paraguay (30), Slovakia (34)
GROUP G: Portugal (5), Ivory Coast (16), Brazil (2), North Korea (84)
GROUP H: Spain (1), Switzerland (18), Chile (17), Honduras (38)
Onto the next round. The top two teams from each group qualify for the knockout stage, with the winner of one group first playing the runner-up of another in a one-game playoff. I’ll use my predictions, and the knockout stage schedule from Wikipedia to project these matchups as well. First, let’s review the teams that either advanced or didn’t.
Notable inclusions to the second round: South Africa, New Zealand, Ivory Coast. While most of the teams I’ve projected to advance do have a likely chance, I went on a gamble with these teams. South Africa will be propelled by a strong home field advantage, New Zealand will be the one team that comes out of nowhere, and Portugal’s dominance combined with a stunning upset of Brazil will propel the Ivory Coast to the second round. Now on with the matchups/predictions (winner in bold).
Round of 16:
Mexico v. Greece
England v. Australia
Netherlands v. New Zealand
Portugal v. Switzerland
Argentina v. South Africa
Germany v. United States
Italy v. Cameroon
Spain v. Ivory Coast
Greece v. England
Netherlands v. Portugal
Argentina v. United States
Italy v. Spain
England v. Netherlands
Argentina v. Spain
Third-place playoff: Netherlands v. Spain
World Cup Final: Argentina v. England. 1986 anyone?
Most goals: Ruud van Nistelrooy, Netherlands
Best Player: Lionel Messi, Argentina
I know I went out on a limb here with a lot of my picks, but I’m just trying to have some fun. Check out the video below, its the official anthem for the 2010 World Cup, which is only six months away.