Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013 Preview: Group A

The Contenders: Wow, what a group. You get the defending champion, Sudan, in a group of five teams, which is supposed to be an advantage. But the draw is a fickle thing and there are two other playoff teams from 2012, France and El Salvador, who also got the unlucky draw. Between these three teams we can expect our playoff entrants and all three games between them to be fiercly contested, starting with the tournament opener between Sudan and France on Friday night. I'm going to give the nod to Sudan and France, based mostly on the belief that El Salvador doesn't have the defensive chops to stop either of those formidable teams from racking up goals.

The Challengers: I wish I could say Italy, but I'm being realistic.

The Pretenders: Italy and Somalia, with a major nod to Italy as the fourth best team. Any other pool and I would have them as a possible challenger. They even beat El Salvador in 2012. However, even if that upset happens again, and I don't think it will, Italy doesn't have a prayer in making the playoffs. Somalia managed one win last year, and it's one more win than they can hope for in 2013.

Predicted Order of Finish
1. Sudan
2. France
3. El Salvador
4. Italy
5. Somalia

5 comments:

Not Annonymous said...

I'd say this is the easiest pool to predict, aside from 1 and 2. France and Sudan are both unreal and shouldn't have too much trouble getting out (assuming Sudan comes back with the same team). ES is good but just doesn't have talent all across the field to compete with the top 2. I don't see Italy shocking anyone this year, but I'm hoping they can at least keep games close so there are a few more games worth watching. I have low expectations for Somalia... Groups B and C are the real interesting ones.

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