World Cup 2010 without Argentina?

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World Cup 2010 is just around the corner. As the last bunch of games for qualifications get played this year we face the possibility of a tournament without some of the games giants.

It’s still early but in Africa we stand the chance of missing out on Nigeria, Egypt and Cameroon. In Central America Mexico are sitting 4th, although the change in management might be enough to catch up with Honduras. 

In Europe, Sweden, Portugal, Scotland, Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Belgium, and Bulgaria are all in trouble  and may not even make the play offs. While France will no doubt be playing a playoff game, but if Eire can put in some good results it could Italy V’s France in a playoff game.

I really doubt Italy will drop enough points to miss out on an automatic qualification spot, and to be honest France should be strong enough to dispose of most, if not all of the other play off teams. This of course leads me to South America, and an Argentina team that really is in a hole.

As it stands today Argentina are sitting 4th in the group on 22 points. This has them sitting in an automatic qualification spot, however they are only 2 points ahead of 5th place Ecuador and 4 points ahead of Uruguay. On the surface they sound safe to make it through but the recent form paints a different picture. They have only won once away from home, and have lost twice in the last 3 games including that 6-1 hammering at the hands of Bolivia. With 4 games to play (2 of which are away) Maradona really needs to get the most out of this talented squad.

In September Argentina are at home to Brazil, then travel to Paraguay for a tough away game. Realistically based on what we’ve seen lately this could be 0 points. Dunga has Brazil playing a solid game now and they should be able to take apart this Argentina team that seems so unorganized. Paraguay is not a super power by any means but they are sitting 3rd in the group and with the Argentine away form so far, it seems Argentina will struggle against anyone.

Then in October Argentina plays host to Peru which would be 3 easy points but then goes on the road for the last away game against Uruguay. If results don’t come for Argentina then they could come home after the Uruguay game with 3 points from 4 games. Uruguay will look at their run in and fancy taking 9 points from it and Ecuador will also like the chance of bring in at least 6 points. This would all add up to Argentina not only missing the automatic spot but also missing out on the play off place.

With this in mind it does not make any sense that the Argentinean Football Federation decided to give Diego a new contract until Oct 2009. If they don’t make the World Cup in South Africa, then the competition will miss out on some of the best talents in the game and a football mad nation will be left wondering what could have been.

Do you think Maradona should go now?  Do you think Argentina will make it to the World Cup?