Monthly Archives: May 2010

2010 World Cup Preview: Group A

Group A: South Africa, Mexico, France, Uruguay

The Lowdown

Group A is one of many intriguing groups in this World Cup where the top two places will really be fought over. Traditionally the hosts are handed a favorable draw, however South Africa received no such favors this time around as Carlos Alberto Parreira’s side were dealt a difficult section. France may have squeaked in just, however they will be the favorites in this group. That is not to say that Mexico and Uruguay won’t be fighting it out for the top two spots. South Africa is arguably one of the weakest hosts in recent memory, but no host has ever failed to qualify for the knockout round so history is on their side.

What Should Happen

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Filed under 2010 World Cup, France, Mexico, South Africa, Uruguay

World Cup Coverage Continues

Many thanks to all of you who have visited the site recently. We have enjoyed record-breaking numbers for our little site and your visits really make us want to work even harder to bring you quality football coverage. We have completed the 10 previews of the bottom-ranked teams at this World Cup (according to the FIFA Rankings) and now we are glad to bring you more coverage of the 2010 World Cup in the days and weeks ahead.

We will be breaking down each group ahead of the World Cup opener on June 11th. In addition to analysis and some of our own World Cup predictions, we will be bringing you World Cup Morning Kick-Offs before and during the tournament.

In addition of course we will continue bringing you the off-beat stories you have come to expect by visiting us here. Enjoy the coverage and as always we look forward to hearing from you in our comments section.

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Filed under 2010 World Cup, General

2010 World Cup Preview: Ghana

 

THE SKINNY

 

After qualifying for their first World Cup in 2006, the Black Stars are back hoping to do better than their positive performance four years ago in Germany. It was then when in a difficult group including Italy, the Czech Republic, and the United States that Ghana advanced to the second round but ultimately lost to Brazil 3-0. This time another they are in Group D, another tough draw that has seen them land Germany, Australia, and Serbia. A place in the knockout round would be considered a success, however there is a feeling that this team can go far if all the pieces fall into place.

 

TALE OF THE TAPE

FIFA Ranking: 32nd

World Cup Appearances: 1 (2006)

World Cup Record (W-D-L): 2-0-2

Best World Cup Finish: 2006, Round of 16

Road To South Africa: Finished 1st in Africa’ Group D

 

ANALYSIS

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2010 World Cup Preview: Algeria

 

 

THE SKINNY

 

Back at the World Cup for the first time in 24 years, Algeria endured a tumultuous qualifying campaign that eventually saw them claim a spot for the finals in South Africa. Seven points ahead of Egypt at one point in Africa’s Group C, it looked like the team was self-destructing as their rivals eventually tied them at the top. Level on points, goal difference, and goals, the two countries played out a one game play-off in Sudan where Algeria triumphed 1-0. Now in Group C against England, the USA, and Slovenia there is no room for error if the side want to advance to the Round of 16.

 

 

TALE OF THE TAPE

FIFA Ranking: 31st

World Cup Appearances: 2 (1982, 1986)

World Cup Record (W-D-L): 2-1-3

Best World Cup Finish: Group Stage 1982, 1986

Road To South Africa: Tied 1st in Africa Group C, Defeated Egypt in Play-off 1-0

 

 

ANALYSIS

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2010 World Cup Preview: Denmark

 

THE SKINNY

 

Not considered to achieve direct qualification in Europe’s Group 1 against quality sides such as Portugal and Sweden, Denmark once again defied the odds and did just that, finishing first in an extremely difficult section. Morten Olsen’s side now head to South Africa full of confidence and nothing less than a place in the Round of 16 will do for this team. In Group F alongside the Netherlands, Cameroon, and Japan, the Danes won’t have it easy, however they are a team whose reliance on teamwork and unity should serve them well in their fourth World Cup appearance.

 

TALE OF THE TAPE

FIFA Ranking: 35th

World Cup Appearances: 3 (1986, 1998, 2002)

World Cup Record (W-D-L): 7-2-4

Best World Cup Finish: Quarterfinals, 1998

Road To South Africa: Qualified as 1st in Europe’s Group 1

 

ANALYSIS

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2010 World Cup Preview: Slovakia

THE SKINNY

 

For so long in the shadow of their former countrymen, Slovakia finally exorcized some football demons by beating out the Czech Republic in Europe’s Group 1 to qualify for the World Cup. In fact, the group was quite tricky considering it was full of other quality sides such as Slovenia and Poland. Slovakia however went about their business and despite a slip-up here and there against Slovenia mainly, qualification to South Africa finally came against Poland on the final matchday. This will be the country’s first ever international tournament since becoming an independent nation and while the pressure might be on, this is a talented side who have the makings of a classic tournament sleeper. In Group F with Italy, Paraguay, and New Zealand, the team have the ability to challenge for a place in the Round of 16.

 

TALE OF THE TAPE

FIFA Ranking: 38

World Cup Appearances: 0

World Cup Record (W-D-L): 0-0-0

Best World Cup Finish: N/A

Road To South Africa: Qualified as 1st-placed team in Europe’s Group 3

 

ANALYSIS

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2010 World Cup Preview: Honduras

THE SKINNY

 

Their country may have been in the midst of chaos due to political instability, however that did not keep the members of the Honduras national team from qualifying for only their second ever World Cup finals. In 1982, Honduras performed admirably in the World Cup drawing against Spain and Northern Ireland and losing to Yugoslavia. This time around there are realistic expectations of going one step further and advancing to the knockout rounds of South Africa 2010. Reinaldo Rueda’s side have nothing to lose come June and could prove to be a dangerous proposition in Group H.

 

TALE OF THE TAPE

FIFA Ranking: 40th

World Cup Appearances: 1 (1982)

World Cup Record (W-D-L):  0-2-1

Best World Cup Finish: Group Stage, 1982

Road To South Africa: Finished 3rd in CONCACAF Final Round Hexagonal

 

ANALYSIS

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Filed under 2010 World Cup, CONCACAF, Honduras