A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Welcome to Our Ool-- Notice There is no P in it

I haven't written anything in a while-- so how about predicting the group stage of the World Cup?

Group A: Germany, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Poland. Well, Germany's got to be a safe bet as the host country. Does Poland get a host-ish country boost? They finished second in an extremely weak qualifying group (Azerbaijan?); Ecuador's been tested against Argentina and Brazil. That said, Poland started a Nigerian last time around and I am nothing if not a friend of Africa. Prediction: Germany, Poland.

Group B: England, Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago, Sweden. It's not obvious that the English will even need Rooney here. In the race for second you have two solid teams in Paraguay and Sweden. I was very impressed with Ljunberg in Arsenal's Champion's League defeat to Barcalona, and I love Sweden's fish, so I'm going with them. Prediction: England, Sweden.

Group C: Argentina, Ivory Coast, Serbia, Netherlands. You have got to be fucking kidding me. Prediction: Argentina, Netherlands.

Group D: (Ron) Mexico, Iran, Angola, Portugal. Portugal's main exports have become choking and whining, defying Ricardo. My 12-5 upset special pick is taking Angola, who will eke it out by half a $5 assault rifle. If Angola goes all the way, we could see the hammer-and-sickle raised over Berlin, instantly legitimizing dozens of pulp alternative-history novelists' lifes-work. Prediction: Mexico, Angola.

Group E: Italy, Ghana, United States, Czech Republic. Hear me out--Ghana's best player is hurt, and if there's any karma in the universe at all Italy will get burned for Serie A's endemic game-fixing. What better place than here; what better time than now? Prediction: Czech Republic, and the U-S-fucking-A.

Group F: Brazil, Croatia, Australia, Japan. I don't know who plays on Croatia anymore since I'm pretty sure Suker retired right after ISS '98 was released. Australia's a sentimental pick (they qualified through the proverbial back-door, which I'm sure has gotten Steve's attention), but I can't take Japan seriously since they all work for a mere 100 points a piece in Winning Eleven. Prediction: Brazil, Australia.

Group G: France, Switzerland, South Korea, Togo. France isn't getting any younger, but I can see them getting into the knockout as long as Barthez doesn't screw up too badly. South Korea was impressive last time, but how much of that was a spiritual bump from the home crowd? If I picked Angola, Togo sounds almost reasonable as another upset pick. Prediction: France, Togo.

Group H: Spain, Ukraine, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia. I bet Russia would actually have a very nice team if Shevchenko got bribed by the mafia into claiming Russian citizenship. Knee worries aside, I'll take the Big Ukrainian. That aside, this group is a joke, isn't it? I don't think that even Spain can choke this one away. Prediction: Spain, Ukraine

Most of these are obvious picks; the only ones with any bite are Togo, Australia, the US and, ahem, Angola. I'm not nearly up-to-date enough with the world scene to know whether I should be thinking, say, Tunisia, but what are you gonna do?

6 Comments:

Blogger steve said...

Angola and Togo. hehehe. That group is a fucking disgrace though.

Also put horrible racism into your consideration of Italy and Spain's positions... I'd say your boldest prediction in there is the USA and Czechs over Italy. Well, I guess besides Togo and Angola...

12:58 PM

 
Blogger steve said...

By the way, did you happen to see the US-Venezuela game?

1:11 PM

 
Blogger neill said...

Oh yeah, I was thinking about the racism angle but forgot to mention it. I don't think that's enough for Spain to fall to, say, Saudi Arabia. And hey, Togo beat Senegal to qualify from their region. I'd take Senegal over Korea, so why not Togo?

Missed the game last night, unfortunately.

3:58 PM

 
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