Thursday, 7 January 2010

Thursday 7 January 2010 – 155 DAYS TO THE WORLD CUP

Group F is one of those groups that could provide a few interesting moments but equally it is a group that could be viewed as something of a cakewalk for Italy to coast through on autopilot. Joining Italy in the group is Paraguay, Slovakia and New Zealand who are a set of nations/teams with no real world cup pedigree behind them. If there is to be a group of sleep in this competition quite possibly it will be this one.

In theory current champions should not experience too much trouble despatching what appears to be something of a lukewarm group. In a couple of recent tournaments England have had the privilege of facing and defeating Paraguay, experiencing no real trouble in the process. It feels a long time now since they were manned by Chilavert, the Henry Rollins lookalike that was one of the most charismatic goalkeepers in recent history and one of the highest scoring shotstoppers also. That said Paraguay did finish ahead of Argentina in the gruelling 18 match CONMEBOL qualification group.

What lies beneath Slovakia remains to be seen but their road to South Africa was an impressive one as they took out both their neighbours the Czech Republic and Poland in addition to our own Northern Ireland. Interesting to note however is that despite topping their group they suffered two defeats on the way, both from England’s Group C opponents Slovenia. They should however get the better of Paraguay.

As a footballing nation unsurprisingly little is none about New Zealand as their most famous imports of recent history have been Xena and Flight Of The Conchords. Their performance in last years Confederations Cup doesn’t serve to install much confidence either. Neither does the reality of Rory Fallon being their most famous player.

Italia it is yours to lose.

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