Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Group of Death?

I don't think there's any doubt after watching the first week of games that Group B is officially the 2010 Group of Death. With only Scotland as a legitimately weak team, this group offers entertaining and high-intensity games no matter what the match-up. Sure, games have been close in Pool C as well, but the level of play in those games has been less-than-stellar with the exception of a strong Polish squad.

El Salvador, Norway and Germany have all proven that they can play a quality game when they need too. It will likely come down to these three teams to see who advances out of the group. With that in mind, Afghanistan has also shown a lot of flair, but I'm not convinced they're ready this year. In 2011 don't count Afghanistan out. Jamaica has obviously been a disappointment - they're OK, but not even close to teams they've assembled in the past. And Scotland, as much of a shadow of they're past as they currently are, is still OK. They at least try and keep it competitive.

Five remaining games in this group (Afgh vs. Jam, Afgh vs. Nor, Sal vs. Nor, Sal vs. Jam, and Nor vs. Germ) look to be absolute bangers. Its tough to look at any other games from the other groups and think that those will be something close to "Can't miss." Laos vs. France and Ireland vs. Canada are really the only other intriguing mathups left.

Group B will be decided on the final day of round-robin play and you really can't ask anything more from a group of death. Group A and Group D are foregone conclusions and Group C is essentially a crap-shoot of who is weakest for second place.

I'm looking forward to a great weekend of Group B games.

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