FIFA World Cup – Qualified Nations Hope For Favourable Draw

2nd December 2009 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

World Cup History can point to a lot of probable answers to a lot of questions regarding the next FIFA World Cup tournament. Five time winners Brazil will of course be one of the main threats at the tournament in South Africa 2010, and that is only to be expected. But despite World Cup history showing that Spain’s best result is a fourth place finish back in 1950, the Spaniards are being seen as just as much of a threat as the great Brazilians. The odds on Spain winning the tournament will be kept short because of their strong qualifying campaign, and the success in the last European Championships. But outside of the two clear favourites, where amongst the other 30 qualified teams, will a serious challenge come from?

Everything of course will begin on Friday, when the draw for the World Cup is announced, in a ninety minute show case in South Africa. Naturally there are going to be great divisions within the quality of teams participating, and therefore the seeding of the top eight teams is all important. While still awaiting official confirmation from FIFA President Sepp Blatter about the news of who those eight seeded teams will be (one of them will of course definitely be hosts South Africa), there has been many mock World Cup draws running scenario’s of who will be drawn against who. This can be done because there is a certain amount of certainty as to which formula FIFA will apply to the seeding of this World Cup.

The 32 qualified nations will not have to wait long, for the countdown is on for the World Cup draw. The FIFA World Cup is the highlight, the pinnacle of all football tournaments, the one at which every professional player dreams of participating in. The FIFA World Cup is a stage for lesser-known individuals to perform well, and hopefully forge new careers at club level. It is the coming together of national, patriotic support to perform on the pitch, and a chance for World Cup soccer fans to amass and cheer on a nation. While nothing is yet set it stone, in all likelihood it will be Holland and Portugal who are the biggest names who will go unseeded. What this means, that at the World Cup, there could be a couple of the famed, “Group of Death”.

A pure example of this would be one group with Brazil, Portugal, USA, Ghana, and another with England, Holland, Mexico, Ivory Coast. The emergence of the African nations as contenders has added a whole new balance and weight to the FIFA World Cup. Here we look at the teams who have qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, by the pots which will be used on Friday in Cape Town.

Pot A: The Eight Seeded Teams:
South Africa, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Spain, England, France, Argentina. With all of the talk around the World Cup being reclaimed by Brazil, the European nations have a very good chance to win the tournament for the first time outside of their own continent. Little has been said about current World Cup holders Italy, with many believing that they do not have the quality to go too far. But they were underestimated at the 2006 World Cup and produced fantastic team spirit and battling qualities to win the tournament, without producing much flair. Germany and France should be good enough for quarter final places at the very least, and let us not forget that the final four teams at the 2006 World Cup were all from Europe. Fabio Capello has big World Cup dreams for England, and they go into the tournament with higher hopes than they did in 2006. Their arch-nemeses from both the 2004 European Championships and the 2006 World Cup, Portugal, if unseeded, will mean that there is the possibility of the two meeting again. Argentina, under the guidance of legend Maradona, struggled to make qualification for South Africa 2010, but they did, and their presence there, along with European Footballer of the Year, Lionel Messi, will mean that they will pose a threat. Hosts South Africa meanwhile, will probably struggle to make any impact at all, even cheered on by the home crowds.

Pot B: Rest of UEFA Teams: Holland, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece, Serbia, Denmark, Slovakia. Holland and Portugal will obviously be the ones to avoid from this pot, and while England gets to miss the likes of Brazil and Spain, having the Dutch or the Portuguese fall into their lap would be a potential calamity. Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark and Serbia were all group winners from the World Cup Qualifying campaigns, and while not among the major forces coming out of Europe, have the potential to cause an upset or two between them. Serbia are being seen in circles as one of the potential dark horses of the next FIFA World Cup. Greece and Slovenia  came through the Qualification Play-offs, along with France and Portugal. One thing which will favour Europe this time, and probably for the first time outside of Europe, is that the conditions in South Africa during next year’s tournament, will be colder autumnal and winter weather, which should suit the Europeans well.

Pot C: Africa and South American Teams: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay. How much would Africa love a winner on their own continent. Never has the African contingent at a World Cup been so strong. The obvious standout name is the Ivory Coast, which is represented by Chelsea’s talisman, Didier Drogba. On their last showing, they failed to make it out of the group stage, but they should be a much stronger team this time around. They have a lot of quality, as do Ghana, who many think are even stronger than the Ivory Coast. African football has grown rapidly in stature, and the effects can be seen in the Premier League, especially with Chelsea and Arsenal. Cameroon have been part of some wonderful moments in the World Cup, and while they aren’t quite as strong as Ghana or Ivory Coast, they will worry some teams. From South America, both Chile and Paraguay have the potential to cause quite a stir at the 2010 World Cup. They cruised through qualification, finishing second and third respectively, and just one point behind Brazil. Both teams looked quite composed and with an eye for goal, Paraguay’s defence standing up more than Chile’s.

Pot D: Asia, Oceania and North/Central America:
Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Mexico, Honduras. With all due respect, there will not be much expected from the teams from this fourth pot. But when you look at the teams such as Japan, USA and Australia, it is clearly recognisable that these are the teams which will be playing on desire and heart, looking to achieve things above and beyond their station. That will make them dangerous in a sense, and the bigger nations will be viewing them with some degree of caution. No-one will want to have a crucial upset against anyone who simply shows more guts, bravery and determination over complacence skills.

Those are the 32 combatants who will be in the World Cup draw on Friday evening. The ceremony, co-hosted by South Africa actress Charlize Theron, can be seen all across the World, and national coaches will be waiting with bated breath, hoping for a good draw. With the potential for more than one Group of Death there, it does also mean that there could be a very favourable draw for one of the seeded teams. FIFA World Cup history shows us that is hard to look outside a handful of teams for a winner. But, will the next World Cup bring more firsts? Will it be remembered for reasons equally as important in World Cup history, than just being the inaugural time that the competition is held on the African continent? Time will tell.

For now, the Bookmakers have a fair idea as to who will be making waves in the compeition:
Spain – 9/2 at Blue Square
Brazil – 5/1 at Paddy Power
England – 15/2 at Expekt
Argentina – 11/1 at Totesport
Germany – 12/1 at William Hill
Italy – 14/1 at SkyBet
Holland – 14/1 at Bet365
Portugal – 20/1 at ExtraBet
Ivory Coast –28/1 at Paddy Power

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