First off, let me just rip off a mini Google-bomb. Did you that Tom Powers is A Stupid Fat Fuck? There, now go ahead, and take a second and Google Tom Powers is a Stupid Fat Fuck. See what you get!
This group has an intriguing battle for 2nd place. First is decided unless something really fucked up happens. Even if the first 11 of Brazil were to die tomorrow, their 2nd 11 would probably be good enough to take this group. That's not hyperbole. Erase the first 11 of Brazil, and the best player in the group is still Brazilian. That's scary. And he's Robinho, in case you were curious.
Let's get to the group:
Brazil: One of the most talented teams I've ever seen. This team, I think, is far more talented than the past 3 World Cup Brazilian teams. Bebeto and Romario? Fuck 'em. Let's move on.
Croatia: A lot of people are not talking about Croatia, but they have as good a chance as anybody to take second in the is dogpile, and as I'm typing, I find myself leaning towards them, not because of any big upside I see in them, but because of the shortcomings I see in the remaining sides. They allowed Spain to comeback on them in their last friendly, which should leave an appropriately bad taste in their mouth. As opposed to an inappropriately bad taste in their mouth. Garwood B. Jones knows what I'm talking about. This team did beat Sweden twice in qualifiers.
Australia: A team with a lot of somewhat decent talent that, as individuals, have never lived up to their potential. Mark Viduka had one monster year in the Premiership awhile back, but I wouldn't could on him or Kewell to stay healthy past game 1. There are is some intriguing younger talent here. Cahill has looked good, and goalie Mark Schwarzer has been playing out of his fucking head. I personally dig Brett Emerton. They have a pretty cool coach in Hiddink, as well. But still, they qualified against really, really marginal talent, and they are up against real talent. Schwartzer may keep them in games they don't deserve to be in, but I don't see them advancing. Probably the best parties after losses are to be had with Aussies, though.
Japan: Their success last cup was due to their home field advantage. They are however, an energetic team that will run less fit teams into the ground. What, you say, a segment of the Japanese population with a crazy work ethic? What next, that the Japanese enjoys schoolgirl porn? That's a horrible stereotype, and yes they do. They also have some good, temperamental talent, in Nakata and a few others, and a really, really cool coach in Brazilian legend Zico! But they are a long way from home, and knocking off Bahrain twice in qualifying doesn't impress me the way Croatia knocking off Sweden does.
Japan and Australia have both appeared as savvy underdog bets, and I guess I can see why. These 3 teams are more evenly matched than maybe any other obviously second class teams in any group. Brazil got a number one seed by their merits. How they got such a bunch of bedshitters in their group with them is beyond me. The one European team in their group is Croatia? Still, Croatia is playing closer to home, had a tougher route to the finals, and while their players aren't as well known as Australia's or even Japan's, I think they will be the second place team out of the group.