1st, for those not amongst the 200 million in the TV audience, here are the groupings:
South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France
Argentina, Nigeria, Korea Republic, Greece
England, United States, Algeria, Slovenia
Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana
The Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon
Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia
Brazil, Korea DPR, Cote D'Ivoire, Portugal
Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile
OUCH! A tough group for the South Africans if they want to advance to the knock out stage, with only Uruguay being seen as a (relatively) weak squad. Mexico and France should fight it out for the group win, especially as they meet June 11th.
Probably the softest group in the whole tournament, Argentina should have very little trouble winning.
For Team USA, it's a very good group to be placed in, with the weakest African squad and the weakest European squad in the field. Only England could pose problems, but most experts agree that they're the weakest of the top seeds(outside of South Africa, rated 86th in the world by FIFA).
This is a relatively balanced group with Germany looking like the favorite 6 months out. Australia, Ghana and Serbia will more that likely fight it out for 2nd.
In terms of toughness, I believe this group will be the toughest to predict. All four teams could win it, or finish last. But it should go to the Netherlands, with Denmark, Cameroon and Japan close behind.
Italy, the current holders, will have their toughest match against Paraguay right off the bat. Handling New Zealand and Slovakia should be a breeze for the Forza Azzuri.
This is no group of death, it's the Group of Ultimate Death. For Brazil, one of the favorites, if not the favorite, it will be a difficult task to get out of group play, what with the strongest Pot 3 squad(Cote D'Ivoire) and one of the strongest Pot 4 squads(Portugal) in this group. One thing is for certain, Korea DPR is a 3 and done team. In fact, they may not be able to score any goals.
In contrast to the Brazilians, the other major favorite, Spain, has a benign group to conquer. The fly in the ointment could be Honduras, who gave the USA a tough fight during their 2 CONCACF qualifiers.
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