This Sunday are two really mouth watering games in prospect: Germany v England and Argentina v Mexico. Saturday’s games look like the warm up.
Mexico are much underrated and were unlucky to get South Africa for the opening match. That said they were disappointing against Uruguay. The Argentians have just looked very good. I think that Argentina will win but it should be exciting.
Germany England on the other hand will just be nerve wracking. As long as it doesn’t go to penalties (and yes I know the Germans missed the first penalty since Bismarck in 1882 or whenever)…
England have yet to look like they are really fired up. If they can’t do it against the Germans then they never will.
My predictions for Groups AB and D were mixed: I called the right teams but wrong score in group A (although I called SAfrica over France), in group B I was spot on, in group D I didn’t allow for Serbia self destructing (or Australia’s scintillating performance) but got the right teams.
What about today and tomorrow’s groups then.
Netherlands will get at least a draw to win the group against a woeful Cameroon. I had higher hopes of them. My eurocentricism makes me call Denmark against Japan. But it’ll be close.
This afternoon’s games I can’t see not going to form. Paraguay top, Italy second. Italy can’t be as bad as they were against New Zealand again.
A gap of 9 goals is too much for Ivory Coast to make up. Portugal will lose to Brazil and go through on a slightly better goal difference.
Oooh tricky. Spain need to beat Chile. Chile could beat Spain. Could the Swiss sneak through by beating Honduras? Too close to call, but this is a huge test for Spain. Can they find the cutting edge. If I have to make a prediction Spain will win 1-0, and we might have a draw to seperate Switzerland and Chile. Not confident about it though.
I also looked at the goals per game, and round 2 of the group game was an improvement. In the 16 second round group games we had 42 goals at 2.63 gpg, compared to 25 at 1.56 in the first 16 games. Round 3 has reverted to type though: lots of tense 1-0s (often very enjoyable like Ghana v Germany) means we have had 16 in 8 games (exactly 2 per game).
The tournament has broken through to 2.08 goals per game, it might beat Italia 90 yet.