Dexy’s World Cup group F preview

by Mystical Mike

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
 

Italy
Unbeaten in group 8 along with the Irish (I’m not bitter), the Azzurri were lucky to avoid the play-offs but eventually won through with some last gasp winners in the final games. They won the trophy last time conceding just 2 goals but are the famed Italian defence strong enough this time around? I don’t think that it is.
They will have to improve on those play-off performances next week if they are to retain the trophy, even with Marcello Lippi at the helm.

Dexys Diamond

In my eyes, all eyes will be on the World’s greatest keeper Gianluigi Buffon and his nancy neck scarves. Top drawer at penalties and generally mustard with his hands, he will have to be extra alert as the aging backline will make his job a tad harder than 4 years ago.

Paraguay
Our opening opponents in Germany 06 will find it hard to do any better than last 16. The Guaraníes cruised through qualifying defeating Brazil along the way and can be a good team when they put their minds to it. Coach Gerardo Martino (a former Argie international, booo!) is rebuilding the squad and still has key players to choose from in Roque Santa Cruz if he lays of the ol’ paella & mackem Paulo Da Silva despite a few injuries in other areas. They will probably end up facing Holland in the last 16 if my predictions are to be correct and may struggle to get any further.

Dexys Diamond
It has to be Roque Santa Cruz who will be a thorn in opposition’s eyes if the high balls start to come in for him. Deadly in the air, I fancy him to Cruz to a hatful against New Zealand, (you see what I did there?)

New Zealand
If it wasn’t bad enough having the Ozzies over there, they only go and let neighbours New Zealand back in after 26 years, good on em though, the Kiwis are among the nicest, friendliest people on the planet. Crap at football (apart from Ryan Nelson), but very nice people. An ecstatic Wellington saw the All Whites beat Bahrain to secure qualification, hope they make the most of it before the long trip back home to sheepsville.

Dexys Diamond
Ryan Nelson is maybe past his prime now but his still the main man in The All Whites defence and he will have to be on guard with such a weak midfield in front of him. Watch out for Smeltz up front too, he maybe able to counter-act the inevitable goals that the young NZ team will leak.

Slovakia
The World cup virgins did the bizzo in the groups by cheque-mating the Czechs, Slovenia and the Poles with a 1-0 in Chorzow. It wouldn’t surprise me if they get further than round 1, they have Skrtel and the brilliant Marek Hamsik in their ranks and will give all group F opponents a good solid test with a decent defence and fit squad.

Dexys Diamond
Silky smooth Marek Hamsik is like a Roll Royce gracefully flitting around midfield and attack. He pops up with plenty of goals too. A decent dream team pick, especially if they progress to the last 16.

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