Friday, 25 June 2010

That Rooney Shot Should Have Gone In !

By not scoring another goal against Slovenia, England now face Germany in the second round, and if England progresses will likely face Argentina in the quarter-finals. The task for the United States, which won Group C, will be far easier against Ghana and then either Uruguay or South Korea, but with all respect to those teams, only Uruguay have an outside chance of reaching the World Cup final.

Of course, in 1982 Italy finished second in its group and had to play Brazil and Argentina to reach the semi-finals, and then went on to lift the World Cup. But England 2010 might not be as powerful or as brave as Italy 1982!

Nevertheless, Germany is not as good a team as it once was. (But the country does have a knack of getting to World Cup Finals, even with poor teams.) We think that this year will be different and that England should and will beat Germany, and then beat either an Argentina team that has peaked too soon, or Mexico.

Both Brazil and Spain could end up today in the top half of the draw, which could lead to a semi-final meeting for England with Portugal. Of course, when England won the World Cup in 1966, it beat Argentina, Portugal, and West Germany in the knock-out stages, just as it is likely to have to do this year. Interestingly, Italy failed to get out of the initial group stage in 1966, just as it failed to do so yesterday !!

At World Cup Companion, we predict that Brazil will get the better of Spain, (if Spain only finishes second in its group,) and while one would normally go for Brazil to beat the Netherlands, we think that the latter will beat Brazil this time. The two semi-finals will be Uruguay versus the Netherlands, and England versus Portugal. The final will see Fabio's dream realised with the Netherlands meeting England in the final on 11 July.

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