Check out our latest JustGiving/World Cup round up from our resident football fanatic, Tim Truman…
Round two of the World Cup’s group stage is over and only two teams are definitely through to the last 16 – no surprise that they are Holland and Brazil. Of course there are plenty of teams that are almost there and very much likely to join them. Argentina should make it, barring a catastrophic defeat to the Greeks and Chile should have done enough to make it through on their current form. Check out our round up of other groups below.
But let’s get to the point – what do the developments in South Africa mean for our mighty JustGiving Cup?
Tim Dhoul has lost his lead to Wil Bert who was not even in our top eight at last week’s point check. Stuart Glen holds on to the second spot.
Down at the bottom of the table the JG staff are showing that while they know their stuff when it comes to fundraising, football isn’t their strong point – they make up four of the bottom eight. (As I write, I’m not surprised to find Kai at the bottom as he even thinks Liverpool is a good team.)
For those of you wondering how Wil Bert has charged to the top, let’s look at his team. Anyone get the feeling he fancies Spain to win?
Back to the World Cup, and our round up of the other groups.
Group A has been dominated by the Central and South Americans, Uruguay and Mexico. A draw between these two in the last round of fixtures would be enough to hold off France and South Africa. Brief word on France – you have nicely taken some attention off the English camp with refusing to train and Anelka being sent home. Likely qualifiers: MEXICO & URUGUAY
Group B – With Argentina almost guaranteed to qualify, the three remaining teams all have a chance of making the final 16. Judging by quality, it is likely that South Korea will fight off Nigeria and win its first last 16 place for Asia. Likely Qualifiers: ARGENTINA & S KOREA
Group C – England fans couldn’t have asked for a better draw. Who would have thought that after two games and two draws there is a high possibility of the three lions going out with a whimper. England have a tricky encounter with Slovenia – remember Slovenia beat Russia in a qualifier to make the World Cup. Even so, England should do just enough (fingers crossed) and USA should fully expect to win and take the second qualifying spot. Likely Qualifiers: USA & ENGLAND
Group D – Was it only our office that enjoyed the great lunchtime victory of Serbia over the good old Germans? This result leaves Germany with plenty to do, especially against Ghana who only require a single point to qualify. Any of the four teams could progress, but it’s hard to see past the experience of Germany and the dark horses (pre-tournament) of Serbia. Likely Qualifiers: GERMANY & SERBIA
Group E – With Holland already safe, the three remaining teams are fighting for one place. I believe the play-off for this will be Denmark v Japan. Although I have Japan in the sweepstake, I feel the Danish will sneak it by the odd goal. Likely Qualifiers: HOLLAND & DENMARK
Group F was expected to be a stroll for Italy but where’s the fun in that? The Italians go into the final game knowing victory over Slovakia will be enough. They could maybe even settle for a third draw, but it’s Paraguay who should take top spot with New Zealand finally losing a game this tournament and returning home. Likely Qualifiers: ITALY & PARAGUAY
Group G – Brazil have shown why they are one of the tournament favourites, along with Portugal, after their 7-0 demolition of North Korea. For the Ivory Coast to qualify, they need Brazil to beat Portugal 5-0 and they need to manage the same scoreline against the Koreans. Likely Qualifiers: BRAZIL & PORTUGAL
Group H – After Spain’s initial stumble against the Swiss, they returned to their winning ways against the Hondurans, but are still not guaranteed to get to the last 16. They need to beat the top placed team Chile to qualify, and if Switzerland beat Honduras, Chile could fall from first to third and fail to qualify. It’s hard to bet against Spain, and for the more high profile games later in the tournament many people will hope they can do it. Likely Qualifiers: SPAIN & CHILE
If you want to climb the ranks in the JG Cup, you should set your sights on the current top players:
Goals mean points. Higuain’s hat-trick has him on top followed by Brazilians Elano and Maicon. World player of the Year Messi gains points for being the creative linchpin of Argentina, and even with England struggling Steven Gerrard has done enough to hold on to his spot in the top 10.
The current leader in the JG Cup only has one of these top 10 players in his team – do you think you can catch him with a bit of a reshuffle? Good luck to all participants in the final group matches.
And good luck England!