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Tournament takes shape

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Now that half of the groups are complete we can begin to form a picture of the "real" World Cup, and how it could pan out.

With Uruguay and USA topping their groups a situation has been created where one of Uruguay, South Korea, the USA or Ghana will be in the Semi-Finals of this World Cup. Had we been told this fact prior to the tournament a "scoff" would've been heard echoing in the room. As it is, Uruguay seem the stronger of the 4 teams.

In Suarez, Cavani and the exceptional Forlan they have a very threatening side who will give the South Koreans a lot to think about. Portuguese based fullbacks Fucile and Maxi Pereira have looked dangerous in attack, and in Lugano they have a very intelligent (although inconsistent) centre-back.

The Koreans were very lucky against Nigeria, took an absolute pasting from Argentina and beat a very poor Greece. They are the weakest team in that group of 4, but with enough discipline and pace they can cause an upset.

Ghana vs USA is a very intriguing tie, however Ghana have found it very difficult to score goals and indeed have not managed to score a goal in open play having to rely on 2 penalties for their qualification. USA on the other hand have scored 4 goals, and had a couple ruled out along the way, and had it not been for that awful call on the 3-2 in the Slovenia game they would've assured their 1st place qualification earlier.

The most likely quarter final would seem to be Uruguay v USA, with Uruguay the stronger of the two should Forlan continue firing on all cylinders.

The other side of the draw sees Germany, England, Argentina and Mexico fight it out for a Semi-Final berth. This is of course what the World Cup is all about and all 3 fixtures leading to the semi are mouth watering. Mexico could cause an upset as up until now Argentina's opponents have been an inconsistent Nigerian side, an awful Greek side and against a decent South Korean team they conceded an awful goal. Demichelis and Gutierrez are their weakest players and haven't really been tested, and on the occasions where they have been called on they have disappointed.

Mexico are an excellent team going forward, Salcido is a very dangerous fullback and could pin back Argentina's defence. Giovani is looking superb at front, as is Chicharito aka Javi Hernandez of Man Utd. However as good as Mexico have looked, Uruguay were the better side when these 2 met earlier this week and Argentina are a significantly better attacking unit. Looks like a great game.

Finally we come to England v Germany. On paper the Germans have to be the favourites, they are faster more organised and in Ozil have one of the most exciting players in the tournament. Klose will be back for this one after seeing red against Serbia, he will be rested and wanting to prove a point. Together with Podolski they have one of the most dangerous tournament-based attacking pair. At the back however they are shaky, and had it not been for prolifigacy in front of goal Ghana may have changed the outcome of this group.

As it stands, England improved immeasurably against Slovenia and their confidence will be their greatest asset. Should Rooney find his form then they are a significantly tougher opponent, as it stands though England's midfield will be where the battle is won or lost. Khedira looks an excellent player, and 25 year old Schweinsteiger is a very strong presence and should cause England's immobile midfield a lot of problems.

The quarter-final is likely to be Germany v Argentina, however that is too tough to call.

Nevertheless the tournament is starting to take shape, and a very exciting shape it is. Can't wait to see how the other half of the draw works out.

posted by teedoubleyou


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