Friday, June 23, 2006

World Cup Day 15: Anal-rapery and Predictions

Game 45: Saudi Arabia vs. Spain. Expect Spain to win, yeah? They'll be resting key starters and anyone with a yellow card. In theory, the KSA still have a chance to advance, and presumably they'll come at Spain, and Spain will counter-attack a couple of times and win handily, and they will win the group, whether they win or tie. They will not lose, I don't think. Spain likes to save that for the next round, traditionally speaking.

Prediction: Saudi Arabia 1, Spain 3

Game 46: Ukraine vs. Tunisia. This is the big game right here of the group. If Ukraine wins, they finish no worse than 2nd. If they tie, they finish 2nd. If they lose, Tunisia jumps into 2nd place, depending on the game above. This is probably the game to watch. Shevchenko will make his presence felt, and Ukraine is talented, but so is Tunisia. I have a hankering for the North Africans, but I think I'm misguided in that.

prediction: Ukraine 1, Tunisia 2.

Game 47: Togo vs. France. France needs this game. They have to win it. Togo is playing for nothing but pride, and keeping a formerly good team out of the next round. France will be without Zindane, and as old as he is, he does key their so-called "offense". Togo has looked dangerous throughout this tournament. It will not be shocking no matter how this game ends up, unless it is a 6-5 thriller. I won't be shocked by either of these teams scoring 3 goals, say. Even if France wins, they aren't guaranteed to advance. A tie between Switzerland and South Korea would keep them out. I'm rooting for Togo. and that's not as completely unreasonable as it should be.

Prediction: Togo 1, France 1

Game 48: Switzerland vs. South Korea. Prepare for boredom! Two conservative teams that know if they tie, they both advance, unless France wins and makes up the goal differential. The only thing to play for is to avoid Spain, and then the "winner" of that scenario probably gets Ukraine, which isn't very fun either. Any action in this game will happen after halftime, when it is revealed that France is beating Togo. Otherwise, just look for cautious soccer, and the one mistake to be pounced on. Both of these teams are equally capable of making and pouncing on mistakes.

Prediction: South Korea 1, Switzerland 1. Both advance.

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