Wednesday, 26 May 2010

World Cup Countdown - Group H

Group H


The European champions are the World Cup favourites as they aim to collect their first ever title. The Spanish, along with the Dutch, were the only side to go unbeaten throughout the qualifying campaign with 10 wins from 10 games; finishing 11 points clear of nearest rivals Bosnia-Herzegovina. With the likes of Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas, Real Madrid stars Sergio Ramos, Raul Albiol and Xabi Alonso, as well as Barcelona’s current stars; Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Pedro, Spain have some of the best players in the World, let alone Europe. Not only do they have great players, they play great football. Expect them to cause a real stir.

Manager: Vicente del Bosque

The 59 year old has been in charge ever since Luis Aragones left after winning the Euro 2008 Championship. He guided Spain to the semi final of the Confederations Cup, where they suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat to the USA. However del Bosque made up for the disappointment by subsequently achieving an unblemished qualifying campaign.

Key Player: David Villa

With languishing doubts over the fitness of Fernando Torres, Barcelona’s new £34 million signing is one of the most unappreciated yet deadliest strikers in the World. The Spanish number 7, has scored 20 or more goals for any club, in all competitions, he has played for in the last nine years. These include clubs such as Sporting Gijon, Real Zaragoza and Valencia. In the qualifying campaign, he was Spain’s top goal scorer with 7 goals.

Best Finish: Fourth Place 1950

Prediction: Winners

Yep, the Spanish are my picks. With a starting line up including Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Raul Albiol, Carles Puyol, Alvaro Arbeloa, Iniesta, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, David Silva with Torres and Villa up front, can you name a better starting eleven in the world? More so the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Jaun Mata, Fernando Llorente are excellent back up options, while the likes of Victor Valdes and Pepe Reina as reserve Goalkeepers alone, Spain have the best squad and are in the best form heading into the tournament. An experienced manager such as del Bosque in charge, along with the experience of playing in South Africa already in the Confederations Cup, means Spain will undoubtedly be more than equipped to win the title for the first time.


The Swiss side are a team with a good array of players, however gave a poor account of themselves at the Euro 2008 championships, being labelled “boring”. This time round they finished top of their qualifying campaign ahead of fellow qualifiers Greece, with the evergreen Alexander Frei and Blaise Nkufo particularly impressing, with 5 goals each.

Manager: Ottmar Hitzfeld

The well travelled 61 year old has won numerous titles all over Europe, but is most renowned for his spell at Bayern Munich, with the German side being one of the best in the World at that period. Hitzfeld now however, is all about the international stage and has been in charge of the Swiss since 2008. After an shocking 2-1 defeat to minnows Luxembourg, the German boss shook up the whole squad, and led them to going the remainder of the qualifying campaign undefeated subsequently sealing their qualification.

Key Player: Philippe Senderos

I could of picked the star player and all time top goal scorer; Alex Frei, but instead I selected a man who is only 25 years of age, has bags of experience, and most importantly; a point to prove. He is out of contract at Arsenal and is expected to leave the club, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to show his qualities and find a new club.

Best Finish: Quarter Finals 1934, 1938, 1954

Prediction: Group Stage

An ageing squad will see them compete for second spot, but just fall short. Could prove me wrong however, should the likes of Hakan Yakin, Gokhan Inler and Tranquillo Barnetta perform to the standard they’re capable of.


Somewhat of a surprise entrant to the World Cup finals considering the distractions and continuous political unrest back in their home nation. However they managed to qualify third, behind USA and Mexico. The select few members of the squad ply their trade in Europe including Maynor Figueroa and Hendry Thomas of Wigan Athletic, Wilson Palacios of Tottenham and David Suazo of Genoa. Look out for 36 year old veteran and rejuvenated striker Carlos Pavon who has 98 caps and has scored 57 times.

Manager: Reinaldo Rueda

The 53 year old has been in charge of the Honduran national side since 2006, and is the former manager of the Columbia national team. According to FIFA’s official website, the Honduran side offers “sparkling attacking football and a solid backline.”

Key Player: Wilson Palacios

The 25 year old Tottenham player is a defensive midfield bulldog and is vital to the national side. He made his debut in 2003 and since played 68 times, scoring 5 goals.

Best Finish: N/A 1st appearance

Prediction: Group Stage

In a group were second spot is up for grabs; the Honduran team have shown in their qualifying campaign that they can score goals. This will be key to the Central Americans chances to make it through the group.


The South Americans have been absent from the World Cup tournament for the last 12 years, and finally make their return in 2010. Chile finished runners up in the CONMEBOL South American qualifying group, behind Brazil and ahead of Paraguay and Argentina. The Chilean’s attacking and technically gifted prowess are their undoubted strengths while their lack of physical strength and height could be their undoing. It seems the Chile side, who gave a great account of themselves in 1998 group stage, and somewhat have unfinished business. Look out for creative Mathias Fernandez, the skilful Jorge Valdivia, former Liverpool winger Mark Gonzalez and the young attacking star Alexis Sanchez of Udinese.

Manager: Marcelo Biesla

The Argentinean is somewhat of a strange and unique character, but is one of the best maangers on the South American continent. He has been in charge Chile for 3 years, and is known for his unorthodox training methods and his attention to detail. Can he formulate a plan to see the Chileans through? Only time will tell, but I believe he can.

Key Player: Humberto Suazo

I did a post on this individual a couple of months ago, which you can read here. I remember seeing this striker playing on TV a year ago and was impressed by his unbelievable attacking ability, so much so he finally made the trip to Europe and is playing for Real Zaragoza (where he scored 6 times in 17 appearances). The 29 year old was the top scorer in the CONMEBOL qualifiers with 10 goals. Expect him to cause all sorts of problems on the Worlds grandest stage.

Best Finish: Third Place 1962

Prediction: Second Round

I feel it’s between Chile, Switzerland and Honduras for second place, but under Marcelo Biesla the Chileans could definitely be the favourites to sneak through, thanks to their excellent qualifying campaign.

Now you have an in depth analysis of all the teams in this years World Cup, so remember to cast your vote for who you think will win.

Real Talk Football

No comments:

Post a Comment