Friday, June 23, 2006

Pre-World Cup Predictions

Now that the first round of the World Cup has finished I would like to admit that Nostradamus I am not. Of the 16 teams that advanced I was correct on only 10 teams.

Here's what I predicted and what actually occurred:
Group A -- Predicted: Germany (1st), Poland (2nd); Actual: Germany, Ecuador
Group B -- England, Paraguay; Actual: England, Sweden
Group C -- Argentina, Cote D'ivorie; Actual: Argentina, Netherlands
Group D -- Portugal, Mexico; Actual: Portugal, Mexico
Group E -- USA, Italy; Actual: Italy, Ghana
Group F -- Brazil, Croatia; Actual: Brazil, Australia
Group G -- France, Switzerland; Actual: Switzerland, France
Group H -- Spain, Tunisia; Actual: Spain, Ukraine

Not bad, not great. Definitely some reaches for the second place teams and a little homerism on the part of the US. Oh well. These are the matchups for the round of 16 and my thoughts:

  • Germany v. Sweden: Should be a good game to see if Germany has a real defense, and I think the home crowd carries the Germans to victory.
  • Argentina v. Mexico: Mexico gets spanked, easy as that.
  • England v. Ecuador: England should win this and Rooney gets more game fit. Ecuador was lucky to be in a weak group.
  • Portugal v. Netherlands: Maybe the best matchup of the round. Portugal will get a real test with the Netherlands, but the Netherlands' defense should be tested by the Portuguese attack as well. Netherlands win this one.
  • Italy v. Australia: Italy's acting abilities will really test Australia's ability not to go down a man. Should be a physical match but the Italian offense should carry the day.
  • Switzerland v. Ukraine: Switzerland is lucky to get one of the weaker teams to advance. Ukraine was utterly miserable against Tunisia in its last match and the Swiss will probably shut down Ukraine's only real weapon--Shevchenko.
  • Brazil v. Ghana: Brazil in a walk with Michael Essien missing.
  • Spain v. France: Spain has looked far more impressive than France so far but the Spaniards haven't really been tested. France looked good in the last match and if Zidane can be incorporated into the attack the team had against Togo I will take France.

Update: I am going to provide my predictions for all of the knockout stages as Complete Sports has done. Above are my Round of 16 predictions.

  • Argentina over Germany
  • England over Netherlands
  • Italy over Switzerland
  • Brazil over France
  • Argentina over England (Semifinal)
  • Brazil over Italy (Semifinal)
  • England over Italy (3rd place match)
  • Argentina over Brazil 3-2. (Final)


twins15 said...

Thanks for the link. Definitely a scare for Argentina today, but what a goal that game-winner was!

Lorenzo said...

FYI - Brazil and Italy can't meet in the semis. The only way they meet is in the Finals. They are on opposite sides of the bracket. Just a heads up for your predictions. In your scenario Brazil would face England to go the Finals and the Italians would face Argentina.

The Fan's Attic said...

lorenzo: my bad. i got my matchest confused. either way, brazil over england and argentina over italy. thanks for the tip.