At this point I'm going to say that Norway and El Salvador will be advancing out of Group B. El Salvador has only played three games but scored convincing victories in each. While Norway has only played twice it was impressive in collecting two wins against Jamaica and Scotland. It's true that neither of those teams seems to be anything special this year, but I can't see a scenario in which Norway doesn't get at least second in the pool.
Here's why: Germany doesn't have what it takes to win the big one.
I believe that when Norway and Germany play on Monday that game will decide who gets the group's final playoff spot besides El Salvador. Similar to 2009, I think Norway will prevail in a closely contested match. In 2009 Norway won 2-0 and shut down an aggressive German striking force. This year, Germany isn't nearly as good because they're without Karl Dahle and from the games I've watched them they're prone to costly defensive miscues.
But that isn't the main issue. The main issue is that most players on Germany don't have the stones to step up in big games. When the going gets tough - they're nowhere to be found in the spotlight. To contrast - Norway is the only team in the past four tournaments to win the championship besides ROI. As the saying goes - "Act like you've been there before," and Norway has definitely been in the winning circle before.
I'm still undecided as to what will be the outcome in the El Salvador Norway game on Saturday - I'll write that later this week - but I'm ready right now to predict that Norway takes down Germany 3-1 when the teams meet on Monday.
Norway to the playoffs. Germany finishes third.