Picking the Germans to win their group has proven to be one of the safest bets in any sport. Fourteen straight times the powerhouse has successfully advanced past the first round. This summer it might be viewed as a tougher task considering the loss of their captain Ballack and also of their keeper Adler as well, but few teams have more depth than Das Boot and few teams play as well disciplined a style. The Germans should earn seven points and advance on.
The Serbians beat out France in the WCQ for the first seed and looking at much of the star power of the squad it is no real surprise. In fact Nemanja Vidic is probably the best defender in all of the tournament and a staple for Man U’s middle defense. Stankovic in the center midfield is one of the most underrated footballers in the world with inter Milan, and Valencia man Nikola Zigic just might be the man to lead the team in goals scored. Serbia is on the rise and should earn around five points in the first round.
Ghana perhaps has suffered an even worse loss then Germany’s loss of Ballack considering the Black Stars were more reliant on Michael Essien then just about any other squad is on any player in the Cup. Without the crucial Chelsea man maintaining the middle they will likely break down against strong attacks and lack an offensive sparkplug. A month back this team was considered the rising star of Africa, but those dreams look extinguished with a likelihood of just four points at most.
Well mate, I must admit that I think the Socceroos chances of winning Group D are about as good as my hopes of getting a date with that sheila Nicole Kidman. In other words there isn’t a Mick Dundee chance in hell that the Socceroos pull off another run as magical as Germany 2006. They do have an underrated defense with Schwarzer and Neill, but the club is way too defensive minded to consistently score goals especially against excellent defenses like Germany and Serbia. I’d say one point will be ambitious for the Aussies.