Monday, June 05, 2006

FIFA 2006 World Cup Preview and Predictions #1

The 2006 World Cup starts this Friday in Munich, Germany. Over the next week I will be giving my preview to the tournament and my predictions for the group phases and for the rest of the tournament. Here is Group A & Group B.

Group A
1. Germany
2. Costa Rica
3. Poland
4. Ecuador

Germany, as the host team, must be considered the favorite in this group. A first round encounter against Costa Rica in the opening match should set the tempo for this group. If the German’s play to their potential, they should be able to pick up victories over all three of their group opponents and move into the 2nd Round as the Group A winners.

Poland should come away from their matches against Costa Rica and Ecuador with 3 points apiece. Poland dropping 2 points against Costa Rica might not be that much of a surprise if the Tico’s play as fast against the Poles as they have shown they can in the past. Still look for Poland to get through as the 2nd place team in Group A.

Predictions: Germany & Poland

Group B
Trinidad & Tobago

Even without Wayne Rooney, England have got to be considered the favorite to win this group, and one of the favorites to win the World Cup. Their midfield and defense are probably the most talented that England has produced in decades. Joe Cole, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, David Beckham, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand; they all are in their prime. If healthy, Michael Owen will be able to cause all sorts of problems up front and if Gerrard or Crouch partner with Owen, either one will be able to support him. The biggest question mark with this England squad is their goalkeeping. If their defenders can provide more than enough support, then Paul Robinson will not be forced as much as Seaman or David James have been in the last two major tournaments that England has been in.

Paraguay and Trinidad & Tobago will not pose any problems for England, or for Sweden, whom I predict will make it out of Group 2. The only question will be which European squad takes first or second? I believe that England can take all 9 points possible, which would mean that Sweden will have to defeat the other two and move on with 6 points. However, a draw between England and Sweden will not surprise me at all, especially with this match up taking place at the end of the first round, when group placement might be the only thing at stake for them.

Predictions: England & Sweden

Tomorrow - Group C and Group D.


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