The 2010 World Cup has begun, but goals have been at a premium, nevertheless it’s shaping up to be another cracking festival of football.
Here’s the game to look out for in the next week.
Brazil began their World Cup campaign slowly with a nervy 2-1 win over Asian minnows North Korea. Ivory Coast, on the other hand, had a cagey goalless draw with Portugal.
The African side, who played some brilliant football in Germany four years ago, will be boosted with Didier Drogba closer to fitness after a brief cameo off the bench against Portugal. But they’ll know they can’t allow Portugal to get the jump on them in this group, so something against Brazil will be important. The Brazilians look like they’re slowly warm up into form in this competition. It’ll be intriguing.
Both these sides appear poised to progress from Group A, but whoever grabs top spot will be at an advantage with the runner-up of Group B to come. The winner of this game will claim top spot too.
Mexico’s form has been good with Javier Hernandez and Giovani dos Santos impressive, while Diego Forlan has been bright for the Uruguayans who hold the advantage in this group on goal difference thanks to their 3-0 thrashing of hosts South Africa.
The Germans started this World Cup in typically impressive fashion with a 4-0 thrashing of Australia and look the team to stop in this group. Ghana got the job done against Serbia, but required a late penalty.
This game could be a dead rubber, if results go that way, but you’d think the football on display will be quality. Ghana are one of the best bets for African success, wilie Germany have started very, very well. There’s also the added flavour of Kevin-Prince Boateng coming up against the Germans, who were robbed of captain Michael Ballack’s services due to a tackle from him in the FA Cup final.
Returning to Group G again, in what is probably this World Cup’s group of death. The expectation is Brazil will top this group, with a battle royale between Portugal and Ivory Coast taking place for second spot.
This clash between the Portuguese and the Brazilians will be crucial. The result and importance aside, with Brazil’s world-class quality players up against Cristiano Ronaldo and co, we’re surely in for an epic clash.
Spain’s surprise opening game loss to Switzerland has certainly livened up Group H. The 2008 European Championship winners are World Cup favourites, but suddenly have work to do to get through this group. They can not afford any slip-ups and, in Chile, they’ve got a tricky opponent.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Chile looked decent at times in their 1-0 win over Honduras which ended a 50-year wait for a World Cup victory. With that aside, the Chileans will be dreaming of progression. Spain’s key forward Fernando Torres needed to find his touch against the Swiss, but you sense he’ll be better for the run. The Spanish might have got rid of the cobwebs early and could strike back.