Saturday, June 12, 2010

South Africa 2010 – Group D:

The main fact:
Three times World Cup winners with three dark horses.

Coach : Pim Verbeek
Appearances : 2
Best Result : Round of 16, 2006
FIFA Rank : 20th
Key : Mark Schwarzer, Tim Cahill, Mark Bresciano.

Like in USA several times ago, it would be like a joke to talk about soccer in Down Under. But now, they have a specific name for this business as "Socceroos". Australia will be the underdog of the group, but the fact they've played together for a long time cannot be underestimated. The Socceroos left the Oceania qualifying stage and easily passed through the Asian section. They finished a very clear top of their qualifying group. They remained undefeated with Schwarzer under formation 4-2-3-1 missed only one goal during qualification, but in the same time was in unfavorable situation when they only managed 12 goals in 8 games. Dutch coach Verbeek has brought his Total Football's style to the team which is known for physical play and more of a clinical passing game. They will be led by a number of top Premiership players such as Schwarzer and Everton's midfielder Tim Cahill, and playing Germany in their first game would be a blessing. If they can grab a result, then this Group would be very interesting with a big advantage to the Socceroos.

Coach : Joachim Low
Appearances : 16
Best Result : 1954, 1974 and 1990 Champion
FIFA Rank : 6th
Key players : Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil, Miroslav Klose.

A giant team with three times World Cup winners and seven finals matches, they usually finished somewhere near the top in these major international tournaments. They combine 'a slow starter' system and 'a panzer' skill for best defenses in 10 qualification games, eight wins, no defeats and only five goals conceded. This is part of the reason why Germany has reached an incredible 11 World Cup semi-finals to date. Current issues is the injuries on German squad, top goal keeper Rene Adler, and captain Michael Ballack (notes; injured by Ghana's Kevin Boateng), are both out for the world cup. Losing two influential players will give serious impacts and it could put Germany on a rough schedule. But with Miroslav Klose's seven goals in qualifying, they still have a predator who managed to win the Golden Boot as for the hosts with 5 goals in 2006.

Coach : Milovan Rajevac
Appearances : 1
Best Result : Second Round, 2006
FIFA Rank : 32nd
Key : John Mensah, Sulley Muntari, Asamoah Gyan.

Ghana may be one of the youngest squad team in the tournament, but majority of that youth has great talent such as 21 year old Udinese's Kwadwo Asamoah. Like Australia, this will follow 2006 being their recent second World Cup appearance. They have finished to the top of the group in qualifying ahead of Mali and managed 4 wins 1 loss and 1 draw. It made them the second favorite African team after the Ivory Coast going into the first World Cup ever held on the continent. Ghana's midfield is as good as any other team in the tournament with strong players like Essien, Appiah and Muntari, but the front line doesn't match the talent of the midfield and neither does the defense have lack experience at positions. The main problem could be Essien's current injury and without him, the Black Stars might really struggle. In the end, the advantage of African soil may be in the differences between Ghana and Serbia.

Coach : Radomir Antic
Appearances : 10
Best Result : Fourth Place, 1930, 1962
FIFA Rank : 15th
Key : Nemanja Vidic, Milos Krasic, Nikola Zigic.

A team that technically had been up to the finals 10 times under many names including Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and now is the first time for Serbia as a nation marched to the final. They qualified to the top of the group by a convinced beat to France and smash to Romania 5 – 0, as such - Serbia do look to be in a very good form going into this cup. Many seeds would have been eager to avoid dark horses Serbia, it remains to be seen as one of the toughest groups possible for this side. The White Eagles will attack and they have a chance, with Vidic in defense and the giant Nikola Zigic up front also Milan Jovanovic has a decent strike scored five times in qualifying. If Serbia can overcome Ghana in the early tournament, they deserve to the next step.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
It's been called the "Group of Tough", tough to get out and tough to predict. A difficult one to call, all of these teams is going to have hard fight to make it through this group. Germany still seems like the strongest contenders, but the other three all have their merits. Germany has main issue as many main players are injured which will have a big impact to the consistency in the tournament. Ghana, Serbia, and Australia all had great performances at their respective qualifying tournaments.
Australia and Ghana look to build their performances from the last World Cup and Serbia will be a tricky team for anyone. Germany has been solid as usual, but not so great. Australia was a great surprise four years ago, but they won't be at this time. Their first match will be a step defining the next, including a first step of Ghana versus Serbia. Maybe the goal difference will determine who's gonna advance or go home, and I believe in Serbia.

MY ORACLE :Germany (5), Serbia (5), Ghana (3), Australia (2).


Anonymous said...

Are you trying to make me laugh, mate?
Socceroos rules this group.

Anonymous said...

Jerman 4 - Australia 0 mantaaafff...
Go Ghana wekekekeeke

Anonymous said...


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