“Erm, aren’t there two matches for 32 teams left in this World Cup?” I hear you cry and you have a point.
What’s going on here is that someone asked me to predict who I thought would go through to the last sixteen and I promised I would make the prediction after I’d seen each team play once. And an hour ago Switzerland beat Spain in the last match of the first of the group games, meaning I’ve now seen them all (missing about three minutes of football in the process).
So here’s the sixteen going through in ten days time:
France and Uruguay
Neither have played well but I didn’t see anything from either South Africa or Mexico that should worry them. I’d love to see the hosts make it but think they will lose to both France and Uruguay in the coming games. Mexico are rubbish.
Argentina and Nigeria
I was thinking South Korea up until a few hours ago but think that Nigeria have the edge to beat them and Greece. Greece sealed their fate by losing to South Korea and don’t believe they’ll beat either Nigeria or Argentina.
England and USA
England are strong and the USA are basically full of team spirit and really pull together and work for each other. On top of that, Algeria and Slovenia were terrible in the first match.
Germany and Ghana
This was a tough one too as I was trying to decide whether it would be Ghana or Serbia in the next round with the football machine. I was impressed with Serbia but think Ghana have the edge, especially with where the tournament is this year. Australia were awful and will really struggle to get out of this group…shame.
Holland and Denmark
Easily the two best sides in this group and Denmark’s game plan was solid until the own goal. Japan were lucky with the win and neither they or Cameroon can expect to go further this year.
Italy and Paraguay
Both showed how strong they are in the opening match, whilst Slovakia showed they’re not really up to much this tournament. New Zealand were solid but that won’t be enough against the big two of the group.
Brazil and Ivory Coast
Portugal were weak and lacking in effort and I think the Ivory Coast will play better against Brazil and North Korea. It’s a tight one this but I’m tipping the Africans, due to home advantage.
Spain and Switzerland
There’s been a lot of talk about how good Chile were today but you have to remember who it was they were playing. Switzerland and Spain are much stronger and I expect them both to beat Chile.
Would love to hear your thoughts on the groups.
I’ll be giving everyone my tips for the first and second placed teams after the second run of matches.