ITALY (FIFA RANKING: 5)
Remember this diving bitch?!?
Like any of us can forget. Grosso, you are a fucking homo, and I'll hate you forever, even if it really was a foul...GET UP YOU FUCKING POOFTER!!!
Yeah, so Italy are pretty good, but seriously, fuck them. And that's not just sour grapes from Germany 2006. Well, maybe just a bit. Okay I'm still nowhere near over it, so kill me. And Grosso isn't in the 2010 squad, but yeah, like I said, fuck those finger-shaking-at-the-ref bitches. They comfortably topped their qualifying group, probably from diving all over the place and wagging their index finger at the ref like so:
They have a cast of Serie A stars in Cannavaro, Pirlo, Gattuso, Iaquinta, Gilardino, De Rossi etc, and I wish them all the worst in South Africa. In a perfect world, they'd get rolled by New Zealand here, but instead they'll probably dive their way to topping this group in a bitchly manner.
PARAGUAY (FIFA RANKING: 31)
Paraguay's strike weapon over the past few years has been tall striker Roque Santa Cruz. I am a Manchester City fan, and from what I've seen of Santa Cruz this year, well, it's been pretty shite. Santa Cruz aside, they are obviously a handy side, finishing 3rd in South America. Benfica's Cardozo is a quality finisher and Borussia Dortmund pair Barrios and Valdez will also help pick up the slack. In fact, Santa Cruz might be lucky to get a run with coach Martino usually favouring new Sunderland signing and attacking midfielder Riveros in the starting lineup. They will, however, really miss the multi-talented Cabanas who had the misfortune of being shot in the head in January. Recent form saw them dominationg possesion but going down to Republic Of Ireland, and a 2-2 draw with Cote'd Ivoire. So you expect a side with such credentials and decent enough lead up form to give a real sight. A strong chance to progress, especially if they can knock off Slovakia.
NEW ZEALAND (FIFA RANKING: 78)
I'd love to see our cuzzy bro's from across the ditch do well, but the fact is, they are easily the least talented team heading to South Africa. Yes, they looked very competitive against the Socceroos in the recent Friendly...but we were missing 6 starters...and still beat them 2-1. And I know that the Aussies in '06 were a case in point of a team playing with their hearts on their sleeves. But seriously bro', as fun as it is having the Sheep-Shaggers at the WC, they are not progressing. I'll support my Kiwi cuzzies in supporting them against the other teams in this group, and I was shocked when they grundled their way past Serbia last week, but they're not going through...if they get a point, they'll be happy, if they can get two points, they'll be absolutely stoked and if they get a win, they'll be partying Kiwi circa 1985 style:
SLOVAKIA (FIFA RANKING: 34)
I don't know too much about these guys, but what I do know is that they won a tough group in qualifying. And if I'm tipping Slovenia (2nd in the same group) to progress, then Slovakia must be a strong chance to do the same. My concern is that their preparation is not ideal leading into a World Cup with just two matches against Cameroon and Costa Rica. The key player is Napoli attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik who has some serious quality about him. At the back, Liverpool's Martin Skrtel will be filling the central defence and up front, the go-to guy is Sestak. They look a well-drilled outfit, capable of some attacking football as well. But really, I'm just going to have to toss a coin to decide between Slovakia and Paraguay...
PREDICTION: Heads Slovakia, tails Paraguay...and it's TAILS! Paraguay to progress with the Azzurri bitches. For punters, you'll get a lot better value taking Slovakia to progress.
|Match||Date||Venue||Team 1||Team 2||Kick-off (AEST)|
|11||15 June||Cape Town||Italy||Paraguay||04:30|
|12||15 June||Rustenburg||New Zealand||Slovakia||21:30|
|28||21 June||Nelspruit||Italy||New Zealand||00:00|
|42||25 June||Polokwane||Paraguay||New Zealand||00:00|