Sunday, May 2, 2010

Meet Your World Cup Groups: Group B


With Tevez (Manchester City) and Messi (Barcelona) up front, any decent balls forward to these guys in space, and this Group is over. Somehow Argentina struggled at times in their qualification campaign, relying on late goals in their last couple of games to guarantee their place...their struggles can surely be contributed somewhat to their drug-addled manager:

Maradona arrives for Argentina's Biggest Loser

Maradona, as great a player as he was, I'm just not sure he has the same nous as a manager. I'm pretty sure the Argies qualified simply because of their natural footballing talent rather than anything this coke-snorting coke-snorter had going on upstairs. Anyhow, they are there...and Messi and Tevez have been on fire this season. Throw in players of the calibre of Heinze, Samuel, Milito, Higuain, Veron, Di Maria, and Liverpool pair Rodriguez and Mascherano should be nice and fresh with the Reds having done sweet FA this season. This a side capable of going deep into the tournament and should account for this group comfortably.


Not content with being the Eagles, Nigeria are known as the Super Eagles. The Super-Dooper Eagles will be spear-headed by Chelsea midfielder Jon Obi-Wan Mikel and most support will come from Everton trio Yobo, Amichebe and Yakubu. Argentina aside, this group is very open, and the other three teams here are going to be locked in a royal shitfight. Nigeria will show more flair than the Greeks, but will they be able to open up a stodgy Greek defense? Will their own defense be able to cope with the fluent efficiency of the South Koreans? All questions that, like a lot of the African teams before them in World Cups, we won't know the answers to until they play. They're as good a chance at 2nd place in the group as the other two I suppose. Now, I've got to get back to my e-mails...apparently I've won $1.5 million and a spot on the bench for Nigeria at the World Cup!


With Poland missing from this edition of the World Cup Finals, Korea Republic will be contenders for the Curse of the Commentators Award. We all know about Park Ji-Sung of Manchester United fame. The rest of them all pretty much look the same and there are something like 10 Lee's, 8 Kim's, and an even spread of Hyung's, Woo's and Wong's.

A WHAB South Africa 2010 collector's pack for anyone who knows who this guy is! Hint: It's not Park Ji-Sung...

For a team that is going to their 7th straight World Cup, and were unbeaten in their World Cup qualifying campaign, that ranking seems ridiculous. Particularly where Nigeria are tied for 20th and Greece are 12th. As outsiders of this group in betting, I am getting on. The betting agencies are all over the African teams performing well on their home continent. Not their home country, their home continent. I am calling this as rubbish. South Africa will over-perform no doubt, but I see no reason why the rest of the African teams will over-perform. In Germany, did we think all the European teams would be so much better than at other World Cups? No. Unlike Nigeria, you know what you're going to get from South Korea, and it will likely be producing more goals than Greece. My first bet of the World Cup goes on Korea Republic to qualify.


Seriously, I have no idea how Greece are ranked 12th in the world. Surely the FIFA rankings don't go back as far as Euro 2004...Then again, these are the same rankings that have Israel at 24. Israel...24...Think about that. Anyway, they have Liverpool's most exciting player of this season in Krgyiakos...and he's a central defender...But enough Liverpool bashing, Greece, if nothing else, will play well as a team. It won't be overly exciting, but it may be enough to get them through to the knockout stages. One thing's for sure, there'll be many fans getting behind the Greeks in Australia, such as this guy:

Align CenterKnockout stage...bewdiful!

PREDICTION: Argentina to top the group and Korea Republic to sneak through.

Group B

Match Date Venue Team 1 Team 2 Kick-off (AEST)
3 13 June Johannesburg Argentina Nigeria 00:00
4 12 June Nelson Mandela Bay Korea Republic Greece 21:30
19 18 June Mangaung/Bloemfontein Greece Nigeria 00:00
20 17 June Johannesburg Argentina Korea Republic 21:30
35 23 June Durban Nigeria Korea Republic 04:30
36 23 June Polokwane Greece Argentina 04:30

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