Wednesday, September 1, 2010

World Cup Round 5 Preview

Well, most of the damage has already been done, and the tournament has definitely not gone down as most would have suspected. Some big games tomorrow as teams jocky for positioning in the knockout round.

The biggie: Group D, France vs New Zealand. If France and Greece win tomorrow, Spain would finish 3rd, playing Greece in the knockout game, then getting USA in the quarter match!!! Wow. Spain is praying for a New Zealand victory tomorrow you can be sure!

France has to beat New Zealand to guarantee the 2nd seed, but with a New Zealand victory over France, a three-way tie would result between France, Spain, and New Zealand (going to a tie-breaker based on point differential).

So France could end up anywhere from 2nd to 4th seed if they lose. The 4th seed plays Turkey in the knockout round. The 3rd seed plays Greece-Russia winner, ending in Team USA's bracket for the quarters. The 2nd seed places Greece-Russia loser, ending in the top bracket against group A winner (Argentina/Serbia). That second seed is the best place to be, for certain.

Lithuania has earned the top spot in group D, with the unfortunate "gift" of facing the dangerous Puerto Rican squad in the knockout round. ***update: wrong, PR blew it against a weak African squad, China took their spot.

We also have a nice match in Argentina - Serbia for 1st in group A.

Australia-Angola is also big in group A, as the loser becomes the sacrificial lamb for Team USA in knockout round.

In group B, Brazil and Croatia play for the all-important 3rd seed. Loser faces the 1st seed from group A (Serbia/Argentina) in knockout.

In group C, Greece and Russia play for the 2nd seed. The placement really doesn't matter much, as they will both end up facing a tough squad from group D in the knockout round, possibly Spain.

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