Friday, June 02, 2006

Group B (Eng/Par/Swe/T&T)

England. Rooney's definitely out for the group stage so England might have some very serious scoring problems in their first three games. It looks like Sven's tactical strategy will just be "go on! Give it to Crouch! Give it to Crouch!". Owen's form is terrible and Theo Walcott is only 17, and hasn't played a competitve game since January. Lampard, Gerrard an Joe Cole will have to do the scoring.

Paraguay. Roque Santa Cruz, the Bayern man, will be their key player, but will rely on the other Germany-based striker, Nelson Haedo-Valdez to provide him with chances.

Sweden. They won't do well at all. No decent striker (Ibrahimovic hasn't played well for several months now; Larsson is probably to 0old to be effective), only one good defender (Mellberg). If Freddie Ljungberg is healthy they might avoid coming last.

Trinidad and Tobago. I think they could surprise people by drawing a couple of games, but they still aren't good enough to win. Even if Stern John, their all-time leading scorer, steps up, third place is as much as they can hope for.

Main bullet point for this presentation: Even a bad England team could get through this group. England and Paraguay will go through.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Group A (Ger/CRC/Pol/Ecu) Preview

Most likely favourites: really hard to tell. Germany have the best squad. Jens Lehmann will be more of a success than Oliver Kahn in net - just look at his 11 game shutout streak in the Champions League. But Germany's defence lacks depth.

Ecuador have been doing all right in their last few games . Christian Lara will be a key player for them.

Costa Rica aren't going anywhere. They are just going to fail. They were awful against the Ukraine last week, losing 4-0, letting in some crappy goals.

Poland might be the surprise team of the group, but Thomas Kuszczak (right) in net is a disaster. Did anyone see the goal he let in against Colombia on Tuesday? He let the other goalkeeper score from a clearance! Bounced right over his head. Jerzy Dudek should have been picked.

Main bullet point of this presentation - no one knows who will win the group, but unless Poland ditch Kuszczak, Germany and Ecuador should make it through to the next round.

...and we're off.

This blog belongs to Ben (pictured in a recent appearance at the football grounds beneath Valencia's Puente de Serranos), who is 9 years old, plays goal for his rep team, and is a bit football-obsessive. He has very serious views about World Cup Germany 2006 which he will share with you (via his father, the faithful typist) over the course of the next six weeks, no doubt with much trash-talking thrown in. Enjoy.