I love the World Cup match predictor at the BBC website. Go ahead, give it a whirl..
As is usual at every World Cup, the teams I keep an eye on are Brazil, England, Italy, Argentina and the host nation (Germany this time). When it comes to favourites for the Cup, the usual suspects include the above as well as Holland and France.
Asian teams like South Korea are unlikely to make the same spectacular impact they did last time round, and although I’m hoping for S.Korea to make it to the 2nd round, I don’t expect them to go further than that (or for the other Asian teams to make it past the group stages).
Some interesting match-ups are in store in the group stages, namely England v Sweden (England manager against his home nation), Argentina v Holland (two skilled teams), Mexico v Portugal (some latin passion in store?), Italy v Czech Rep (goal-fest or goalless bore?) andBrazil v Australia (fairytale stuff in the offing?). Of course, in the World Cup, there’s always a surprise or two, so every game is a potential classic-in-the-making.
The England-Sweden match-up is intriguing. If the pundits’ predictions prevail and Germany end up winners of Group A, then the runners-up of Group B will face Germany in the next round. And with England not having beaten Sweden for 37 years, it might very well be England vs the host nation in the 2nd round. Oh wow – talk about high drama. Suddenly it’s Euro ’96 again, except the tables would be reversed. Wonder what are the odds on such a match ending in a penalty shootout?
And check this out – if somehow England and Germany do meet, and England edge out winners, guess who they’d be meeting in the q-finals? Argentina (assuming they win their group and defeat their 2nd round opponents). Messi vs Rooney. Mouth-watering clash, this….
Another possible rematch in the second round could be South Korea vs Spain, if they finish runners-up and winners in their respective groups. Remember the controversy when Korea eliminated Spain in 2002? Of course, this time the Koreans won’t have their massive support with them, so it’s natural to expect the Spanish to get their revenge.
Anyway, here are my predictions (made with BBC’s World Cup Predictor) :
Actually, if there’s one thing I can predict with any certainty about this World Cup, it’s that it WON’T be according to my predictions. That’s a result of about nearly 20 years of World Cup watching experience, folks…