FIFA 2010 World Cup Preview Group F

Group F is probably the least exciting group in the 2010 World Cup, the only real contest seems to be between Paraguay and Slovakia.

Italy Wins 2006 FIFA World Cup

Group F: Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia

The reigning world champions Italy must’ve thanked their lucky speedos when they saw their Group F opponents. I can’t see Italy breaking much of a sweat in topping this group, even with a ‘mature’ squad. Italy are always a force in world football and although the perceived age factor and lack of youthful players has raised criticism from some camps, this squad is loaded with experience. Whether this outplays exuberance will only become clear in the knockout rounds.

Italian Fan
New Zealand are seen as one of the weaker teams in the tournament, their qualification perhaps a fortuitous result of Australia’s move to the Asian qualifying confederation, which is pretty choice. But I can’t see them taking any points home at the end of their three matches, and they will likely be used for scoring practice by the other teams.

Paraguay are without their star forward Salvador Cabanas after he was shot in the head earlier this year while in a bar in Mexico City. Roque Santa Cruz and Oscar Cardozo are decent strikers, though there’s not too much else to shout about. Paraguay might present a surprise package, but nothing that’ll necessitate excessive ballet theatrics from the Italians.

This is Slovakia first World Cup as an independent nation, and they’ve got a good chance of advancing through this stage in second place. They topped their qualifying group and have a strong spine to the team consisting of Liverpool’s Skrtel in defense, Hamsik in midfield and Vittek up front, if their youth can rally around them they should produce some exciting football.

Slovakia Fans
What we think will happen:

Italy to waltz and pirouette their way through this group and finish top. Second place is where this group’s intrigue is. I think Slovakia will narrowly clinch second spot, Slovakia play Paraguay in the third game, the result of which will likely determine who follows the Italians through.

Final Standings:

  • Italy
  • Slovakia
  • Paraguay
  • New Zealand
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~ by bowlphilosophy on June 14, 2010.

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