Trying to do all eight groups and four elimination rounds in the twelve days before the World Cup kicks off, which means blogging every day for this entire month of June.
Continuing my Cup breakdown with a look at Group D
(as in Death).
This is another group with one clear cut favorite and three other teams battling for the second spot. I've been cheering against Germany for my entire life because they're boring and methodical (IM0), but their style seems to work because they always make it deep into every Euro and World Cup. This year's German side doesn't have a lot of experience or big names, and they're currently ranked #6 in World SPI , but should still breeze through this group with maximum points.
If the USA makes it to the elimination stage, they will play Germany in either the first or second round. And they will lose. There are only about five or six teams that can beat Germany (the ones above them in SPI, plus Italy) and the Germans will keep winning until they play one of those teams. The Germans may be boring, but they do not lose to lesser teams.
Of the other teams in Group D, I like the Aussies because they call their national team the Socceroos (Australia is another country that calls this sport "soccer") and their star goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer (of Fulham FC, my current EPL team of choice) is an Australian of German descent who played in the Bundesliga and should be fired up when the Aussies face the Germans.
Ghana made it to the second round out of the USA's group in 2006, and should be motivated playing in Africa, so they'll also be tough. Group D features two German-Ghanan brothers on opposite sides with Jerome Boateng (of Man City) playing for Germany and his brother Kevin-Prince (of Portsmouth) playing for Ghana. Not a lot of brother v. brother in the World Cup.
Serbia will be another strong team. They're currently ranked 9th in SPI, which sounds a bit inflated because they didn't qualify for the Euro and didn't play well in 2006 (as Serbia & Montenegro), but maybe the Montenegrans were dragging them down? It wouldn't be surprising for any of these three teams to make the next round, unless two of them did at the Germans' expense.
I'm pulling for Australia and Ghana for the glory of continents that start with A. How can you pull against a team that uses a Toto song as their 2010 World Cup Theme?