Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup of Soccer Predictions: Grabia

I apologize for the lateness of this post. Some thoughts:

• No one will believe me, but I picked Ecuador to come out of Group A before they beat Poland today. Now I'm kind of kicking myself for having them lose in the Sweet 16. This team may do some major damage.

• My picks are pretty standard. I admit to not knowing enough about soccer to go with wild and crazy picks. That being said, Tunisia gets out of Group H, and the Ukrainians go home.

• Even with the loss of Cisse, the French will advance. They still have the 2nd best player in the world on their squad (Thierry Henry). Unfortunately for them, it only means they will get knocked out in the quarter-finals.

• I greatly dislike the Italian club, and hope they get knocked out in Group E's round-robin. It might actually happen, as Group E is loaded with talented clubs. Don't count out Ghana advancing.

• Even with the return of Wayne Rooney, the English can't seal the deal. They will get knocked out by their rivals from Argentina.

• I am picking the Dutch to win. You have to be kind of stupid to bet against Brazil, but I'm doing it. In fact, I bet everyone outside of Brazil is doing it. No one likes the perennial winner.

• The real sub-plot going into this World Cup is the resurgent rise of racism in Europe, and it's ongoing presence in the game of soccer. Anti-racism groups are warning non-white visitors to be careful, and to avoid certain areas of Germany (particularly East Germany). A website has even been set up providing visitors with guidelines on what to do in case of an attack. I dearly hope nothing happens, unless of course a wave of hooligans from Africa kick the living crap out some neo-Nazis from Germany. That I could get behind.

Teams: Germany, Costa Rica, Poland, Ecuador
1st: Germany
2nd: Ecuador

Teams: England, Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago, Sweden
1st: England
2nd: Sweden

Teams: Argentina, Ivory Coast, Serbia & Montenegro, Netherlands
1st: Netherlands
2nd: Argentina

Teams: Mexico, Iran, Angola, Portugal
1st: Portugal
2nd: Mexico

Teams: Italy, Ghana, United States, Czech Republic
1st: Czech Republic
2nd: Italy

Teams: Brazil, Croatia, Australia, Japan
1st: Brazil
2nd: Japan

Teams: France, Switzerland, South Korea, Togo
1st: France
2nd: Switzerland

Teams: Spain, Ukraine, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia
1st: Spain
2nd: Tunisia

Second Round (winner in red)
R1: 1A Germany vs 2B Sweden
R2: 1C Netherlands vs 2D Mexico
R3: 1B England vs 2A Ecuador
R4: 1D Portugal vs 2C Argentina
R5: 1E Czech Republic vs 2F Japan
R6: 1G France vs 2H Tunisia
R7: 1F Brazil vs 2E Italy
R8: 1H Spain vs 2G Switzerland

Quarter Finals(winner in red)
Q1: WR1 Germany vs WR2 Netherlands
Q2: WR5 Czech Republic vs WR6 France
Q3: WR3 England vs WR4 Argentina
Q4: WR7 Brazil vs WR8 Spain

Semi Finals(winner in red)
S1: WQ1 Netherlands vs WQ2 Czech Republic
S2: WQ3 Argentina vsWQ4 Brazil

WS1 Netherlands vs WS2 Brazil

Champion: Netherlands


At 5:15 PM, Blogger Alex said...

The Netherlands will get eliminated on a penalty kicks, as they always do.

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I should note that I ignored talking about my German squad. Being of German/Irish descent, I usually have lots to cheer for in the World Cup. Ireland choked in qualifying, but the Germans looked solid today. Defence was a little shaky, but the offence looked good. Klose looks on pace to score a whack of goals again.

And speaking of the Germans, did anyone else see the Addidas +10 ad with The Kaiser in it? Awesome.

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Like any loyal subject of the Queen, I'm picking England to win.

I'd love to see the Americans go far (I love my anglo soccer teams), but I think they'll finish second in their group (behind Italy), which means they'll likely have to face Brazil in the Quarterfinals, and I don't like their chances there.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Wouldn't that mean they had to play Brazil in the Sweet Sixteen?

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Yes. My mistake.

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Karina said...

dammit, why does everyone rag on my teams???

GO Orangje!!!

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

The weird thing about the World Cup is not so much how some teams are always very strong but how some almost always play beneath expectations - Spain, Portugal, Mexico, the Dutch

I wonder why that is.

As long as the Brazilians, Argentines, Italians, Germans or Americans (have to make sure) don't win I'll be happy - hopefully it will be England or a smaller country like the Netherlands or Czech Republic.

I don't see Scotland in your picks. Do they have a bye to play the winner of the last bracket?

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Actually, Ireland has that bye to the final, final round.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

My mistake - I forgot Ireland won the play in.


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