Group B

The Group B consists of Argentina, Nigeria, Greece and South Korea

Argentina

I think for the first time since 1990, Argentina is not placed in the Group of Death. There will bean uncertainty in their group stage in every world cup. Be it the 33 Passes goal of world cup 2006 against Serbia-Montenegro or the bad decision of taking Riquelme off the field and very late launch of Messi against Germany in Second Round – not only the players even the coaching decisions were uncertain.

Mar. 01, 2010 - 05562002 date 01 03 2010 Copyright imago Reto Zimpel Training the Argentine national team under Diego Maradona on the Centre the TSV 1860 Munich with Lionel Messi and Martin Demichelis u A men Football ARG National team Training Munich Vdig xsk 2010 vertical premiumd.

And this time they proved their uncertainty more than ever with a lackluster qualifying campaign and making it to the final at the last moment. Maradona making changes left, right and center , I think he tried more than 40 players before coming up with the final 24. The sacking of Riquelme created a uproar in the country but Maradona will be hoping his star protege Messi to click this time. The reason why Messi scores better for Barcelona is their strategy runs around him but Argentina is like that – it all depends on how the big stars come together as a team and decisions of Maradona at crunch situations (hope he doesn’t do a Pekerman)

Coach : Diego Maradona

Star Players: Lionel Messi, Juan Sebastian Veron, Carlos Tevez, Diego Milito, Higuain, Gabriel Heinze and Angel De Maria

Prediction : Sure shot QF berth if they top the group – One of the Dark Horses – even Italy were dark horses last time. My favorite team too 🙂

Greece

They shocked the football world with the Euro 2004 win. It should have been the birth of another European Giant but they ended up as an one tournament wonder. With the country’s economy in doldrums and aging squad, Otto Rehhagel has a tough job in his hands. They will expect to spring a surprise against South Korea and Nigeria in the group. I don’t see them crossing the group stages by any chance.

Jun. 08, 2010 - 06011808 date 07 06 2010 Copyright imago Ane Edition Greece Football national team Season 2009 2010 Preparations on The World Cup in South Africa Training the Greek Team on the Training Centre the Northwood School from Durban Blessing the Greek national team through Greek Orthodox Priest Training Greece PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxGRE men Football World Cup National team Training World Cup Religion Blessing Orthodox Vdig 2010 horizontal premiumd.

Coach : Otto Rehhagel

Star Players: Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Theofanis Gekas and Kostas Katsouranis

Prediction : Second round shot will be a miracle

Nigeria

Stars in Nigeria? I wouldn’t blame you if you ask the question. If you follow EPL, you would find some unsung stars who come from the African Nations. With the talent they have, Nigeria has always under performed to their potential. They once beat Argentina to win the Olympic Gold Medal, stunned a few teams like Bulgaria and Spain in previous world cups but never seemed to cross the extra mile. As some pundits claim that the first match between Nigeria and Argentina would be crucial, I wouldn’t because I think Argentina will come through victoriously in the match. I reckon Nigeria vs South Korea will be the crucial match, which will decide the number 2 in the group. Can the green eagles go the extra mile?

May 25, 2010 - Wattens, Austria - epa02172782 Nigeria's Nwankwo Kanu (L) fights for the ball with Saudi Arabia's Osama Hawsawi, Abdul (C) and Mohammed Al Fraidi Ammed (R) during a World Cup test match Nigeria vs. Saudi Arabia in Wattens, Austria, 25 May 2010. The friendly match is in preparation for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

Coach : Lars Lagerback Star Players : Nwankako Kanu, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Obefmi Martins and Victor Obinna Prediction : Second round if they see through the Korean Challenge

South Korea

I still remember that last minute burst in one of the Group games against Germany in 1994 World Cup and almost spoiled the chances of Germany. But 2002 really showed why South Koreans are the most improved team in world football. Although they qualified for the tournament as they were co-hosts, they proved their mettle by making it to the semifinals with spirited performances and wonderful coaching by Guus Hiddink. But the South Korean team proved that they can beat any team on a given day. Will they able to recreate the magic this time around. As i said earlier, their match with Nigeria will be very crucial.

South Korea's Park Ji Sung (C) celebrates with team mates after scoring against Japan during their Kirin Cup international friendly soccer match in Saitama May 24, 2010. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

Coach: Huh-Sung Moo

Star Players: Park Ji Sung (Man U), Park Chu Yong, Ki-Yong Song

Prediction : Second round if they beat Nigeria

Group C

The Group C consists of England, USA, Algeria and Slovenia

England

England will be relatively happy with the group they have got because Algeria and Slovenia are considered to be the minnows of the tournament. Even a tight match with USA would not be a problem for England. But the real problem lies in the injury prone team – Rio Ferdinand was ruled out of the World Cup (Captain’s curse again!!?) recently and that makes the defence department weak. It may not be hindrance in the group stages but it will pose a bigger threat in Knock out stages. Another big issue will the mid-field where two giants play along side – Stephen Gerrard and Frank Lampard but the problem is they have not clicked together. Stars will not be problem but making them play together will be the issue in hand for coach Capello

Jun. 07, 2010 - South Africa - Football - Platinum Stars v England World Cup Warm-Up Match - Moruleng Stadium, Moruleng, North West Province, South Africa - 7/6/10..England's Wayne Rooney (R) remonstrates with the referee.

Coach: Fabio Capello Star Players: Wayne Rooney, Peter Crouch, Frank Lampard, Stephen Gerrard and Ashley Cole Prediction: Second Round for sure – Second dark horse for the tournament

USA If i tell you USA has a real chance of making in to the QFs, will you believe me? But if i say they ended the 50 match unbeaten streak of Spain in the semi-finals of Confederations cup – will you?  May be.. Yes they can be as dangerous as that, I happened to see that match and boy what a spirited performance it was. USA will make it to the second round this time but moving forward will be tough as they probably meet Germany in the knock out stage. But I would say – don’t take them in lighter vein.

U.S. President Barack Obama (C), Vice President Joseph Biden (L), and former president Bill Clinton (R) pose for photographers with U.S. World Cup Soccer Team at the North Portico of the White House in Washington on May 27, 2010. The team will have its first World Cup match on June 12 against England. UPI/Alex Wong/Pool Photo via Newscom

Coach : Bob Bradley

Star Players : Carlos Bocanegra, Jozy Altidore, Maurice Edu and Landon Donovan

Prediction: A second round exit

Algeria and Slovenia

Jun. 05, 2010 - 06002206 date 05 06 2010 Copyright imago Bernd Mueller Friendly match Algeria United Arab Emirates v l team Algeria at Anthem men Football international match National team Fuerth Kbdig 2010 horizontal premiumd.

The minnows of the tournament as the pundits put. Algeria has made it to the World Cup football first time in 24 years and Slovenia although spoiled the chances of Russia, is still considered to be the minnows of the tournament. If they make it further in the tournament, it would be a real surprise

Coaches: Rabah Saadane ( Algeria) and Matjaz Kek (Slovenia)

Star Players: Madjid Bougherra, Rafik Halliche, Abdelkader Ghezzal and Rafik Djebbour (Algeria) – Samir Handanovic, Milivoje Novakovic, Robert Koren and Zlatko Dedic ( Slovenia)

Prediction: A First Round exit

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Sylvian

Posted by Sylvian

Marketing Analyst by profession, a quizzer by passion, a blogger by choice, a poet by chance, a non-conformist by gene and a rebel by birth

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