One day to go so I feel I should put some predictions out into the ether just to give Hagrid some fodder to mock me with after the tournament is over.
Dark Horses of the Apocalypse: Tunisia
An African team always seems to punch above their weight at the World Cup and Tunisia have a good chance of doing well in Germany. Not an easy group but I see them drawing with Spain, beating the Ukraine and then knocking over Iran in the final group game to make the second round where their likely opponents are France, who they’ll push but eventually lose to after extra time.
Sleeping Giant: France
After their hopeless turnout in Japorea, a lot of people have written off France but they have a relatively easy group that they should win. A quiet early tournament should leave them fairly fresh for the later stages compared to the likes of Argentina and Italy who will have to fight for every game they play. They are without Cisse but Henry is the form striker of the moment and ZeZu will want to do well in his final World Cup.
So much Promise: England
I really do think we have the players to win it but by all accounts Sven seems to have sent his brain on holiday. He seems to be desperately looking for his Plan ‘C’ now that his Plan ‘B’ (Peter Crouch) has had to become his Plan ‘A’. The “Give the ball to Rooney” tactic isn’t going to work now that he can’t play until the second round. I would love this year to be the one we go all the way but I think in order for that to happen, Gerard, Cole and Frank “the Man” Lampard are going to score almost all our goals. There is a chance of us getting to the final but if we do I think we’ll face Argentina and lose.
Eventual Holders of the Jules Rimet: Argentina
They have a tough group and will be pressed in all their games (they’ll most probably only go through on points difference) but I think they’ll really kick into a high gear later on and be really hard to beat. Messi is a fantastic playmaker and Crespo always seems to play well when he’s not playing for Chelsea. I think they have the right blend of young and old, talent and experience, to go all the way.
Brazil are the Real Madrid of international football and I think their egos will cause them to self destruct. Spain rely too heavily on Raul, Holland seem to be trying too hard to be the new Italy. Big Phil has already won it and so Portugal aren’t allowed to. Italy are still a superstar or two short of a great team and Germany with Klinsmann in charge are complete arse.