Wednesday, March 3, 2010

World Cup 2010, Volume 4: 100 Day Countdown - “Who Can Beat Ze Germans?”

Our old friend and tonyblogs.net Senior Soccer Analyst Josh Garcia is back with the fourth of his continuing series examining the 2010 World Cup.

That’s right, 99 glorious days until the World Cup. We’ll focus this volume on Group D. It’s a group consisting of Ghana, Serbia, Australia, and Germany.

Germany is a favorite of mine to reach the finals for what would be a record setting feat. No team has reached the finals 8 times. (Bastian Schweinsteiger?!?!, I mean come on!) The Germans have a will that is not matched plus I love saying some of their names (Bastian Schweinsteiger?!?!, I mean come on!). They have power, speed, finesse, heart, and no surrender. They have as much history as Brazil and the only times they haven’t been in the World Cup, were the times which they chose not to enter. There are no teams that are better in the air than the Germans and Miroslav Klose might have the best positioning skill in all of football. Nobody is better at putting them self in a right place right time than Klose, who is third all time for Germany scorers and will only be adding to his legend in South Africa. Look for the Germans to win this group.

Who will be 2nd team to make it out of Group D? Ghana, Australia or Serbia?

Chelsea’s Michael Essien, who is one of the strongest possession midfielders in the world, leads Ghana into South Africa. The Black Stars heavily rely on their defense and are very young. Ghana is playing on their home continent and are looking to improve upon their 2006 showing in Germany where they were the only African team to reach the knockout stage but fell to Brazil.

Australia is an intriguing team who also rely on their stout defense and just like any other sport, a hot goalkeeper can take you deep in the playoffs/tournament. Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer is a huge reason why the Socceroos only conceded 4 goals in 14 games along the way to earning a place in South Africa. Schwarzer also set a national record with 7 clean sheets in a row. He is a big sturdy veteran and between the pipes is the most forgiving place for a 37 year old. This is the first time that Australia has qualified in consecutive World Cups, and is looking to advance again to the final 16.

Manchester United’s top defender Nemanja Vidic leads Serbia who in my opinion is the most interesting team out of this group. They are a very talented team and could be the surprise of the group. Milan Jovanovic will be their man up top. He was recently signed to Liverpool and will join them in the summer transfer window. Which means he’ll go up against Vidic when rivals Manchester United play Liverpool next year but until then they will be fighting for Serbia to advance. This will be Serbia first time appearing in the World Cup independently.

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