Sunday, June 11, 2006

World Cup Day 3: Analysis and Predictions

This should be a low-scoring day. The kind that DeFord and Powers et all complain about. But to a true soccer fan, it is a big, big day.

Let's get to it.

Game 6: Serbia & Montenegro vs. The Netherlands, the Clockwork Orange, Total Football, baby!

Serbia has been getting way too much love for being good on defense. Defense wins championships, and this team has defense, blah blah blah. This reputation they garnered has led some to call this group the Group of Death. I don't buy it. Serbia isn't that good, and the Orange are that good. Serbia doesn't score on Netherlands, and the contrapositive is true. That's right, the contrapositive. Look it up.

1. Edwin van der Saar: One of the most underrated goalies in the tournament. I'd put him right behind Keller and Cech.
2. Thuggery. Serbia's "defense" is often a bit on the rough side, and the Dutch have some delicate finesse players. I hope Arjen Robben makes it through this game, but I wouldn't bet the bank that he does.
3. Youthfulness. For those of you who watch World Cup finals carefully, you may be scratching your head at the Dutch line up. No Bergkamp, No Kluivert, No Davids, No Seedorf. Marco Van Basten however, is the third biggest badass the Netherlands ever came up, just behind Johann Cruyff and William of Orange. And Marco is the coach. Don't doubt him.

Prediction: Netherlands 2, Serbia 0

Game 7: Mexico vs. Iran

ugh. Dogpile. Mexico isn't as good as their rep, and Iran is slightly better.

1. Really, I can't come up with 1 good reason to watch this game, much less three. Except that Iran might escape with a point or 3.

Prediction: But they probably won't. Mexico 2, Iran 1.

Game 8: Portugal vs. Angola

Now this game has some excitement to it. First timers Angola, unlikely qualifiers going against perennial bedshitters and former Coloniziers of Angola, Portugal. Beautiful.

1. Is Figo still Figo? One of the best players the world has seen over the last half decade is getting older. Can he work with the younger generation of Portugese stars?
2. Does Angola really have a chance in this one? I'd say "no" but Sweden vs. T&T suggests that every team has a chance.
3. Am I phoning it in a bit? Possibly.

Prediction: Portugal 4, Angola 1

No comments: