Group F

Group F features the last time World Champions, the team which gave nightmares to Argentina in the qualifying and two minnows. I think i can definitely predict the two teams which will make it to the second round from this group, it’s just that who makes it to the top as they will have to play the Group E teams in the second round

Italy

Nobody even gave a chance to Italy till the Semi-Finals in the 2006 world cup but they eventually became world champions through charismatic captaincy from Cannavaro and unmatched defence tactics. But this time around they don’t look like the side they were 4 years ago. The gifted players have become old war horses and Lippi doesn’t have any fresh legs to play with or he chose to leave them back in Italy. The last time they defended the World cup in 1986, they had a second round exit. Will they regain the world cup crown 30-70 for me.

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Coach: Marcello Lippi

Star Players: Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Andrea Pirlo and Zambrotta

Prediction: A Second round exit if they finish second in the group because they have to fight the Dutch

Paraguay

Take any South American team, you will find brilliance written all over. Although they had a first round exit last time, the qualification campaign this time around is impressive. They won 10 games and a stunning 1-0 win over Argentina which almost ousted them. Led by an Argentinian coach, they are the potential spoiler of the tournament. The first game against Italy will decide who is going to lead the group

Coach: Gerardo Martino

Star Players: Roque Santa Cruz, Oscar Cardozo, Justo Villar and Nelson Haedo Valdez

New Zealand and Slovakia

Two of the most inexperienced teams in the competition. Slovakia is playing in their first world cup and New Zealand playing after 28 years. There are no major stars and the team is full of inexperienced players. In-fact only the captain and a young striker of New Zealand plays in an international league. I don’t think Paraguay or Italy will be foolish to let them win the matches. It’s all about gaining experience in this world cup

Coaches: Ricki Herbert (New Zealand) and Vladimir Weiss (Slovakia)

Star Players: Ryan Nelson, Chris Wood and Shane Smeltz (New Zealand). Stanislav Sestak, Robert Vittek and Marek Hamsik (Slovakia)

Group G

Here comes the real group of death. Every time it would be the Argentinians who will be put in to the gruesome Group of Death, this time it’s their bitter South American Counterparts who are in to it. Group G consists of Brazil, Ivory Cost, North Korea and Portugal

Brazil

The samba boys have the toughest draw in the competition but we are talking about 5 time  champions who are one of the best in the world. They have one of the best coaches, celebrated midfield and fearful defense. But the biggest problem would be their forwards because they are quite in experienced – will they able to make it against the tough oppositions?

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Coach: Dunga

Star Players: Julio Caesar, Malcon, Ferreira Lucia, Kaka and Luis Fabiano

Predictions: No predictions for this group

Ivory Coast

The Elephants of Africa are put in to the grueling group of death for the second time in as many appearances. They did play well and gave a fight to the Argentinians and the Dutch but could not make finishing touches. A meticulous coach and a fabulous striker but the only weak link will be their defence and goalkeeper. But in the last warm up game, Drogba hurt himself in the hand, will he play the tournament is the million dollar questions

Coach: Sven Goran Eriksson

Star Players: Didier Drogba, Kola Toure and Didier Zokora

North Korea

When the first time North Korea qualified for the tournament in 1966, they stunned the world beating Italy and making it to the QF in which they lost to Portugal (5-3) after leading them 3-0. They never participated in the qualifying stages of major competition and they are back in the reckoning in 2010 world cup. They are the mystery boys of the world cup as nobody knows about the players from this military state. Let’s find about them together

Coach: Kim Jong Hun

Star Players: Based on some website info – Hong Yong-Jo, Ri Myong-Guk and Ri Jun-Il

Portugal

Well well will the cry baby control his tears and play for his country once?? Cristiano Ronaldo as his young counterpart Messi, has not played up to his potential for his country. But Portugal is not about Ronaldo like Argentina is not about Messi alone. Talented lot of players but had a big loss last week with Nani of Man U ruled out because of an injury. It’s going to be Ronaldo’s tactics against the defence of other teams

Coach: Carlos Queiroz

Star Players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul Meireles, Simao Sabrosa

Group H

The group which has the potential winner of the world cup – the spaniards. The others in the group are Chile, Honduras and Switzerland

Spain

The Euro 2008 champions  and one of the complete teams in the tournament with a world class goal keeper, solid defense, superb midfielders and two strikers who have 50 goals between them in the league season. A perfect masala for winning the world cup. I would reckon a semfinal berth for sure. And after that it’s anybody’s game

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Coach: Del Bosque

Star Players: Xavi Hernandez, David Villa, Fernando Torress, Andre Ineista, Carlos Puyol and Iker Casillas

Prediction: A semi final berth

Chile

There were two players in 1998 world cup who sizzled for Chile – Salas and Zamarano. Now the stars have retired and the mantle has been taken over by the young team. The average age of the team is the lowest in the tournament as the whole team is youthful. They finished second in CONMEBOL and earning their rightful place in the tournament. I reckon they will finish second in the group but making to the QFs will be a tough ask

Coach: Marcela Bielsa

Star Players: Matias Fernandez, Alexis Sanchez and Humberto Suazo

Prediction: A second round chance

Honduras and Switzerland

Although this is the second time Honduras making it to the World Cup, there are a few players from the European League can make a difference. Switzerland on the other hand is the team which surprised a lot of teams last time around with their impeccable defence. I think the Swiss men didn’t give away a single goal in the 4 matches they played last time. Ukraine eliminated them by penalty shootout in the round of 16. Both the teams will look to spoil the party of Spain and Chile

Coaches: Reinaldo Rueda ( Honduras ) and Ottmar Hitzfield ( Switzerland )

Star Players: Wilson Palacios, Carlos Pavon and David Suazo (Honduras). Tranquillo Barnetta, Alexander Frei and Blaise Nkufo (Switzerland)

Prediction : The games against Chile and each other will be crucial

When you read the post, the first game has ended with 1-1 draw between South Africa and Mexico. the Beautiful Game has began beautifully. Let’s enjoy. My review will be up by tomorrow.

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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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