World Cup draw: actually not a death sentence
Watching the World Cup draw early on Saturday morning felt like watching the cast of The Bold and the Beautiful do Hamlet. With Becks & Charlize, there was glamour aplenty- but it had the all drama and class of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Australia’s group for the World Cup drew what I call “the builder”: the sharp intake of breath through gritted teeth accompanied by the worried shake of the head.
On paper, it looks a tough ask for the Socceroos in South Africa – but is it really the group of death?
Germany will be tough. In two World Cups, Australia will have faced the three most decorated nations in the tournament (with Brazil and Italy in ’06). They qualified with ease and boast a roster of stars – but if the Socceroos can apply their usual physical, defensive football, they can keep the score low, perhaps even sneak a draw. As we’ve seen against Holland, Pim knows how to play against European opposition.
Serbia? Technical, organised and finished ahead of France to top their qualifying group. Former Barcalona and Real Madrid manager Radi Antic has set up an attacking team, but it’s nothing the Socceroos aren’t well equipped to deal with.
I reckon the toughest test will be Ghana. As one of the home nations, the Black Stars will be desperate to succeed, and the can more than match Australia’s physical and technical ability. With the likes of Michael Essien and Stephen Appiah in midfield, it will be real battle for Verbeek’s side, who are so often used to outlasting and outfighting their opponents.
Realistically, this is the battle for second-place. Ghana’s last game is against Germany, so a result against Australia will go a long way. Oooh, the possibilities; it’s six months away and already World Cup fever’s melting my brain.
Particularly with what could happen if the Socceroos finish second and England win their group – the post-colonial clash of the century! The Ashes the Poms would really care about! Ask any Englishman; they’re crapping themselves that this could happen.
Germany? Serbia? Ghana? Ingerland? Who do you fancy in June next year?
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