Sunday, 6 December 2009

THEY'RE NOT NORTHERN IRELAND, THEY'RE BRAZIL



And now for something completely different... I am going to surprise alot of people and back the boys from Brazil (excludes Deco) to win the World Cup in South Africa next year.

The draw itself didn't send too many shockwaves around the world, but the stand-out matches will be in Group G where Brazil need to stamp their authority on the tournament early on.  That's because Robinho and co. will come up against the big names that Sepp Blatter so desperately wanted to get into the tournament.  Portugal is their name - messrs Ronaldo, Deco, Simao and Nani are the 'star-power'.  Brazil will also come up against Drogba, Kalou, and the Toure brothers of the Ivory Coast and, of course, Hong Yong-Jo of North Korea.

I may be early but here is how I think the groups will end up...

GROUP A
France  (the support from Ireland will inspire them)
Mexico  (not as strong a Mexico team as we're used to)
South Africa  (utter pish)
Uruguay
  (unlucky not to deny Maradona's men from qualification)

GROUP B
Argentina  (should be too strong for everyone else)
Greece  (Greece's peak was 2004, on the slippery soap)
Nigeria  (missing a Kanu or Jay-Jay these days)
South Korea  (always well organised, could spring a surprise)

GROUP C
Algeria  (I'll be honest, I know sweet FA about them)
England  (will cruise the group)
Slovenia  (could run USA close for 2nd)
USA (too much PL experience to fail to qualify, surely?)

GROUP D
Australia  (aging squad, Cahill's the only threat)
Germany  (will have no problems early on)
Ghana  (thank you, come again)
Serbia  (my outsider tip to lift the trophy, great side in the making)

GROUP E
Cameroon  (expect them to prop up the group)
Denmark  (between them and Japan for 2nd)
Netherlands  (will be a walk in the park)
Japan  (see Denmark)

GROUP F
Italy  (defensively they will be tough to breach as usual)
New Zealand  (the whipping boys of WC 2010)
Paraguay  (straight fight for 2nd with the Slovaks)
Slovakia  (see Paraguay)

GROUP G
Brazil  (always turn on the style in the big games)
Ivory Coast  (will huff and puff, but won't blow any houses down)
Korea DPR  (unknown quantity, may take a zero tolerance approach)
Portugal  (extremely fortunate to qualify, they should take advantage)

GROUP H
Chile  (2nd should be a foregone conclusion)
Honduras  (rock bottom)
Spain  (expect Villa and Torres to improve their goal tally throughout)
Switzerland  (excelled in qualifying - that'll be their only claim to fame)


PS:  Reason for the video above?  Well, being born in 1986, that was probably the closest I will ever come to seeing Northern Ireland play at the World Cup.  I blame Blatter. And Henry. Everyone else is.

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