Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Crystal Ball Gazing

The teams will of course be taking one game at a time but that's not to stop us looking at potential second round and beyond fixtures. I don't know about you but as soon as the draw is made I'm looking at possible match-ups in the latter stages. Anything is possible...including the following...

Brazil is going to be playing a team from Group H if they progress through the group. So that means an all South American tie is very much on. Chile surely must have hopes of finishing second in their group behind Spain and ahead of Honduras and Switzerland. Should this happen and Brazil win their group Chile is going to have to face the might of Kaka et al. And if not Brazil it's likely to be Portugal or Ivory Coast for la Roja.

But with Portugal and the Ivory Coast in their group Brazil is far from certain of gaining top spot. The nightmare scenario for Dunga is if they come second and Spain win group H, meaning they would play Del Bosque's men in the Round of 16. But who wouldn't want to see that match? If they avoid each other at this stage it could well be the final.

And beyond that? Well Holland and Italy are potential quarter final opponents. England or France could be waiting in the semis. And if both Brazil and Argentina win their groups the earliest they could play each other would be the final. Never say never.

What else lies in store for Argentina? There could be another all South American match-up in the round of 16. If Argentina wins its group and Uruguay come second in Group A, it's game on for the two neighbours. Let's hope it doesn't go the way of a beach football match between the two nations in 2006.

If it's not Uruguay it'll be either South Africa, Mexico or France for Argentina. Diego's men are then seeded to meet Germany in the quarter-finals. That would bring back memories of the 1986 and 1990 World Cup finals for Maradona. Then it could be Spain or Italy for a place in the final.

If Uruguay qualify and avoid Argentina then Tabarez' team is going to be playing one of Nigeria, South Korea or Greece.

And Paraguay is going to have a tricky tie if it can find a way out of a group that includes Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia. Could well be Holland and if not Denmark, Japan or Cameroon.

So that's what could happen. You read it here first if it does. If it's a New Zealand Honduras final then we can all go home.

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