Group G is the clear 'group of death' winner of this World Cup but Groups B and D are beasts as well. Group C is also fascinating, as you could argue for just about any final finishing order for those four teams.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
Originally posted by Big BadGroup G is the clear 'group of death' winner of this World Cup but Groups B and D are beasts as well. Group C is also fascinating, as you could argue for just about any final finishing order for those four teams.
I disagree. Group B is by far the harder group to get out of. Spain and the Netherlands were the finalists the last time round and are still both incredibly strong (Holland unlucky not be seeded themselves) and Chile should really be a top 10 side if the rankings were based on competitive matches alone - apart from their recent victory over England, their record in friendly matches leaves a lot to be desired and that counts against them. All three could easily win the group and one big team will go home.
In Group G, you have Germany likely to win it (they're a seeded team, so no surprise), but Portugal and the US aren't huge like the teams mentioned in Group C, so whichever one of those miss out, it isn't going to be as much of a shock. I'm ruling out Ghana as they are nowhere near the threat they were previously (but if they can get a draw against one of the others, it will help decide who finishes second). Portugal look highly ranked, but only because of their playoff wins (in October's rankings on which the seedings were based, they were about 15th) and if Ronaldo doesn't perform, they'll struggle to beat anyone, while what I've seen of the US this year, their performances seem to depend on what team Klinsmann picks - with at least half of the time he seems to want to shoot himself in the foot!
Originally posted by CanardI disagree. Group B is by far the harder group to get out of.
Yeah, the only argument I can see for G being tougher is that Australia aren't the best just now, but even their world ranking is probably a bit lower than it should be. I'd happily take Spain and Holland over Germany and Portugal, and Chile over the US. Ghana would probably edge Australia more often than not but that doesn't offset the superiority of the other three teams in B.
You could even make a reasonable case for Holland and Chile being seeded given that Chile qualified ahead of Uruguay and Holland only dropped out of a spot that would have seen them seeded because they beat Indonesia in a friendly.
I'll go with Johnson, thanks in a large part to his starting position, wins the race and while Hamlin and Harvick posts top-10 finishes, it (unfortunately) won't be enough to stop JJ from winning his fifth straight title.