With the footballing space on the internet dominated by Britain and America, this group is being intensely studied. But it shouldn’t be. I mean, really, it’s not all that interesting. England have been given a group to cruise, and U.S.A. should get through given their progress in the Confederations Cup.
I’d genuinely surprised if more than 10% of the people reading this article have made no plans as to how they will watch this group unfold. But why not just do it from the comfort of your computer screen, and why not do it right now. See, I can tell you how this group will unfold. It’s that predictable.
England, all conquering qualifying crusaders, led by San. Capello, will take this group at a canter, and no-one can stop us.
I may not be the proudest England supporter ever to roam the Earth, but they are and always will be my country. With Rooney, one of the top 5 players in football, Lampard, possibly the most clinical club midfielder in the world, and a host of patriots, talents and adulterers in the team, who can argue with the fact that England will dominate this group totally?
American’s will passionately get behind their team on the 12th June, and seem convinced that a USMNT led by Landon Donovan (hero of Bayern Munich), Joze Altidore (the key man of Villareal) and Clint Dempsey (playing second string to England drop out Zamora) are the real deal.
I think they’re a good team with unity, and I have some affection for them after the inspiring run in the Confederations Cup, which I understand made the New York Times front cover. But it’s a strange kind of delusion which causes Yanks’ fans to think they can get one over on Capello.
Patriotism can quite rightly cause delusion (so can weed), but I fully support all people’s right to be proved wrong on the 12th June. And before anyone tells me I’m wrong, take a good hard look at the two squads.
The U.S. are, however, possibly the strongest they have ever been, and I hope they will go a long, long way after England have beaten them. I will support them in the second round against the winners of Group D, presumably Germany.
After the two best teams in the group, we have the remainder. Algeria and Slovenia are both young World Cup teams, who are developing. Algeria go to their second World Cup. In the first (1986) they only scored one goal, and got one one point. I don’t see too much of a change this year, the competition from the two group giants will prove just too tough.
Slovenia await a similar fate, but I think they have a bit more to look forward to. This is also the second tournament for them, but that’s not surprising given the fierce competition in European qualifying, and how young the nation is. Many ex-soviet states are still coming out of their sporting shells, and teams such as Croatia and Bosnia set a fine example for how Slovenia could develop. They, even more so than Algeria, will feel annoyed with a draw that left them with two clear favourites to beat off. In Group A (instead of France) this team could perhaps have gone places.
So, my prediction for the table:
The group’s first game is they key one, and as I’ve made clear, the logical conclusion is that my nation will take it. Since everyone else has had a go already, I predict it will finish 2-0 to England.
Slovenia and Algeria will be a surprisingly entertaining game between two open sides, but will only decide 3rd place.
The winner of this Group goes on to face the winner of Germany, Australia, Serbia and Ghana. A preview is being written to find out who will face England and the U.S. so watch this space.