June 8, 2010

World Cup groups C & D

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

 Onto Group C & D in our World Cup preview.
 
Algeria may be the first team in alphabetical order from Group C, but they’re sure to be in the bottom of this group. They may have denied perhaps Africa’s best team, Egypt, admittance to the Cup final, but that doesn’t mean Algeria is a contender. The Desert Foxes would do well for themselves to wrangle up a draw or two and not concede too many goals.
 
If England doesn’t advance through to the second round, it will be one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament. Their star-studded lineup boasts one of the best players in the world, Wayne Rooney, two great attacking midfielders in Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard and a top-flight defender who might have knocked up a teammate’s fiancé, John Terry. The only thing that can slow down England is themselves and coach Fabio Capello will be sure to stop that from happening.
 
There are dozens of cities in the United States and England that have larger populations than Slovenia. That didn’t stop them from qualifying by beating the best team not to make the final, Russia, in a playoff. They’re stingy defence – second best in European qualifying – makes them a viable darkhorse and have they a history of giant-killing, but never on the big stage. America could have their hands full.
 
This might be the best team that the United States has ever had. But there’s still a ways for them to go to be considered true contenders. Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan will do the stars and stripes proud and their weak group gives them a very good shot at advancing. Whether they can win in the knockout round is another story, since they’ll be drawing the winner of the tough Group D.
 
Group D may not be the official “Group of Death,” but from top to bottom, it might actually be tougher. Having Australia as the weakest link in the group is a much opponent than an unknown like North Korean. The Aussies are one of the physically toughest squads and can frustrate opponents with their force. Scoring goals could be a problem though, especially in this group.
 
This might be the year that Germany doesn’t make a run. After losing Michael Ballack in mid-May, national squad players started dropping like flies. Four other players that would have been part of the 23-man roster will be missing, and that’s not including Robert Enke, the probable starting keeper who killed himself earlier this year. If the Germans can overcome all of the injuries they’ve suffered, it will be a story for the ages, but they still shouldn’t be counted out by any means.
 
Ghana is another team that received some bad injury news in the run up to the Cup. With Michael Essien being forced to the sidelines, it’s hard to think that the Black Stars will be able to overcome his absence. Even with Sully Muntari and Stephen Appai can still lead this team, but they might not be enough to advance.
 
With a stout defence and an underdog label, Serbia has some real potential to be a strong darkhorse. Led by Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic and Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, the Serbian backline will be a hard one to penetrate. As long as they can get a few goals from up front, they can advance. That’s quite questionable though.

1 Comment

  1. Wayne Rooney is an amazing player. He will score in the next match. Don’t judge him because he meet this girl, he’s only a human.

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