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Saturday, December 05, 2009

2010 World Cup Draw 

Bloody hell, that dragged on and I was fast-forwarding through most of it thanks to MYSKY.

Here's the Pools along with the current fifa rankings to give an idea of which pools really are strong. The number on the left is their total ranking points and I've re-sorted them so the toughest pool is top and the weakest pool is at the bottom. It can be a bit deceiving because some names look imposing but the current team isn't so flash and some teams have never done anything but are ranked quite highly.

74 Group H: Spain (1), Switzerland (18), Honduras (38), Chile (17)
83 Group E: Netherlands (3), Denmark (26), Japan (43), Cameroon (11)
84 Group C: England (9), USA (14), Algeria (28), Slovenia (33)
84 Group D: Germany (6), Australia (21), Serbia (20), Ghana (37)
94 Group B: Argentina (8), Nigeria (22), South Korea (52), Greece (12)
107 Group G: Brazil (2), North Korea (84), Côte d'Ivoire (16), Portugal (5)
127 Group A: South Africa (86), Mexico (15), Uruguay (19), France (7)
145 Group F: Italy (4), Paraguay (30), New Zealand (77), Slovakia (34)

So looking at all that NZ is in the weakest group but that's largely because we are in it. In saying that though we have the lowest ranked European team in Slovakia and the 5th ranked South American team with only Honduras ranked lower. We have drawn the current WC champions and they'll probably put 6 past us but they aren't the best side in the world at the moment, ranked 4th.

The best looking group in terms of rankings is Spain, Switzerland, Honduras and Chile which would probably be the least interesting looking group in terms of who the fuck is in it. The current number one ranked team is Spain on the back of an unbeaten qualifying campaign and their Euro 2008 win.

For me the toughest group is Group G where you have 3 teams ranked in the top 16, with Brazil, Portugal and the Ivory Coast up against N Korea. It will be a 3 horse race but those 3 horses are tough as fuck and there's the added fact that N Korea will be beaten to death if they don't get a point somewhere. Not actually true but people will make that joke constantly for the next few months. Provided they put up some respectable efforts they will be allowed back home no probs.

Group A may also be tricky because you have 3 highly ranked sides (France, Uruguay and Mexico) up against the hosts S Africa. S Africa are absolute mud at the moment but with a huge home crowd cheering them on they will grow another leg, plus the ref probably won't be too stiff on them. France would have been stoked to get in that pool but remember what happened in 2002 when they went as reigning champs? No goals in 3 matches and an exit faster than they arrived.

I guess now things will turn to who wants to play who in the warm up matches. I'm sure the NZ officials will be tapping Germany on the shoulder who have drawn Australia. At the last WC in Germany the Brazilians lined up NZ in a warmup game so they could get an idea of the style that they would come up against in the group game v Aussie. So Serbia and Ghana would be other sides who might be interested in playing us. Meanwhile Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia will probably all be asking Aussie for a showdown. Though Italy played us not too long ago and learnt that we aren't as shit as you'd expect. Though still pretty shit.

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