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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

 world cup predictions version 1
Round of 16
Look to see France go through here without too much difficulty or with any need for a handball. Greece will not have the ability going forward to provide a challenge.
This will be a close affair. Expect plenty of goals. I think Argentina will edge it in extra time based on the depth in their squad.
It won't be an easy match, but the English should go through. Serbia is a very difficult opponent, but I don't see them having the ability to go forward and get a goal against England.
Germany Vs. United States
The United States will put up a good fight but the German's are a very difficult team. Their international experience will see them through to the quarterfinals. I could see the States getting this to penalty kicks but no further.
Netherlands Vs. Paraguay
Paraguay are just not at the same level as the Netherlands. The efficient Dutch side should be able to dispatch of Paraguay and take their place in the next round.
I'm picking an upset here. I see the Danes able to push past a weakening Italian side. The Italians will wear down by this point in the tournament; look for the Danes to sneak through, possibly in extra time.
This is a big time rivalry game from South America. Expect something special if this match happens, as Chile would be desperate to earn a victory against Brazil. I still think that Brazil is one of the elite teams in the world and will be able to get past the Chileans.
Spain will go through if this match happens; it's as simple as that. Ivory Coast will attempt to use the African conditions to get an edge on the Spanish, but the sheer quality and tactical advancement that Spain has over them will be too much.

Quarter-finals
France Vs. England
The French just snuck past the Irish, but their long time rivals England will go through here. This could be a fantastic match between European rivals, but I think it will probably go 2-0 to England.
Argentina Vs. Germany
Michael Ballack himself said that expectations shouldn't be too high for this German team and I think coming up against a squad like Argentina will send them out. The multiple attack options available for Argentina will be too much for them to handle. 3-1 Argentina.
Brazil Vs. Netherlands
This could be the match of the tournament. The Brazilian flare will win out in the end though. The Netherlands can't seem to do it in big tournaments and I think facing Brazil would be too big a hurdle for them to overcome. 2-1 to Brazil.
Denmark Vs. Spain
Spain will be the other European representation in the semi-finals. Simply put, Denmark will not be able to match the Euro 2008 winners. Spain has yet to come up against a difficult team in the knockout phases, playing possibly the easiest team in both rounds.

Semi-Finals
England Vs. Brazil
Brazil beat England in a friendly a short while ago, but this will not be the same England team that they faced then. The three lions will push on and with incredible heart beat Brazil in extra time 3-2 to go to their first final since the historic 1966 final.
Argentina Vs. Spain
Argentina has the talent to go all the way to the final. If they can keep off-field distractions to a minimum, I believe that they are good enough to beat a Spanish side that won't be sharp from having played easy games in the tournament.

3rd Place Playoff
Spain Vs. Brazil
This is the final that most of the football world is cheering for going into the world cup, but I believe it will be the third placed match. Finishing third will mean more to Spain, expect Brazil to play second string players and finish behind Spain.

World Cup Final
England will end their cursed streak by beating Argentina in the final. Expect a match with emotions running high and Maradona in the equation. Capello's cool head will win out, and England will win only the second world cup for the team from where the game was invented.
Golden Boot - Fernando Torres
Golden Ball- John Terry
Yashin Award- Iker Casillas
Best Young Player- Lionel Messi
Those are my picks and previews. Only 176 days left until the tournament kicks off with South Africa against Mexico.
 (http://bleacherreport.com)

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