France now pays nine times the money if they can go through from their group in South Africa. The finalist from 2006 is on the verge of being knocked out already in the group phase after losing 2-0 to Mexico on Thursday evening.
France needs a miracle to make this happen. They have been a huge disappointment and to be honest they do not deserve to reach the knock-out stage. Uruguay and Mexico clashes in the last match and both have four points, while France and South Africa have one point each.
France looks doomed and now pays a massive 101 times the money to lift the trophy. We have Argentina as joint favorite with Spain while we have lowered the odds on Germany as final winners.
Diego Maradona probably had a good night’s sleep after his Argentina side had beaten Nigeria in their first match in the World Cup. South Korea impressed and beat Greece 2-0 and they will challenge Messi & Co in Johannesburg.
Argentina is the favorite but the Korean’s eyes a point. Nigeria showed some talent and healthy organization when they played Argentina and are favorites against Greece. Will Greece lose their second match in a row? France and Mexico both need a win when they clash but with the French inability to score a draw could be the bet to do in that match.
Tournament favorite and reigning European Champions Spain starts their South Africa adventure against Switzerland, and Spain get almost all the votes. The Swiss side might have more holes than a Swiss cheese after this encounter in Durban but you never know.
Hosts South Africa welcomes Uruguay to Pretoria and we can expect a vuvuzela fiesta, but will we see any goals, or a new draw in group A? Honduras will lean on a physical defense against Chile, a side that will attack as soon as they see a chance. Plenty of goals there?
Brazil is always the center of attention when they step into a World Cup tournament. They are together with Spain the favorite to win the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Coach Dunga hopes that players like Kaka and Robinho will be eager to show what they really can after suffering disappointing club seasons.
Brazil plays North Korea in the first match and the Korean team can expect a ride. They make their second start in a World Cup and back in 1966 they shocked the world when they beat Italy and reached the second round.
Brazil will face a defensive North Korean team and they might not storm away with the match; in the last six World Cup tournaments Brazil have started quite slow never scoring more than two goals in any of these six matches: Spain 1-0 in 1986, Sweden 2-1 in 1990, Russia 2-0 in 1994, Scotland 2-1 in 1998, Turkey 2-1 in 2002, Croatia 1-0 in 2006.
But this time around North Korea would need a real miracle with Ivory Coast and Portugal as the other teams in the group. Eriksson led Ivory Coast might need to play without their icon Drogba but still fancy their chances against Portugal where Ronaldo is looking for his first international goal since Euro 2008.
New Zealand vs Slovakia and New Zealand are the underdog in that match, but bigger upsets have happened before in the World Cup even if Hamsik and his team should win at the end.
Since I have some really good friends in Australia, I must admit I felt sorry for The Socceroos when Germany thumped them in the World Cup late on Sunday.
I guess they focused on their Victoria Bitter cans at the end. Australia has passion and pride in sports, but they had less chance than a Kiwi trying to sing New Zealand’s national anthem at 2am in Kings Cross darkest streets in Sydney this time.
I salute a Germany that showed some master-class in their attacks, but wait a bit with title chants. To be honest, this was a weak Australia team, far away from the Guus Hiddink led powerhouse four years ago.
Tougher matches will come for Germany. But now it feels that the World Cup has started, and Holland, Italy, Brazil and Spain are lining up next. Here we go!
Sepp Piontek led Denmark to glory as national team coach in the 80’s. Richie Sheridan tells some interesting stats around Japan when they face African opponents and that is something to consider before you place your bets on Cameroon. Italy vs Paraguay rounds this Monday off, and if you go for the draw you are not alone.
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