Group A - I think the 2 teams going to advance from this group are Uruguay in 1st and Mexico in 2nd place. While France has a world of talent, they have not been in good form since the 2008 Euros and with the controversy about 3 of the players screwing an underage hooker still going on back in France at the first sign of trouble that story is going to pop back up. south Africa as hosts are simlply not good enough, remember they got the bid as automatic hosts and would have not qualified on their own given their recent form.
Group B - on paper this is a fairly straight forward group with favorites Argentina taking the top spot but the 2nd spot will be a fight. The greeks can play good defensive form and show up like they did winning th 2004 euros. The Nigerians could get a nice boost from the support from the african home advantage. South Korea is an unknown to me as they did well in 2002 with help from officials and home crowd. I will go with Nigeria as the 2nd team coming out of this group.
Group C - This naturally is the group i will be most interseted in as my beloved Yanks are here. i think by now most British and world fans have to give props to the English based Yank players such as Dempsey, Altidore, Howard and Donovan. Hopefully this cup will have better group stage results than the horrible 2006 performance. Our Defense is still very shaky with Gooch not really having played in 8 months. England to me are not in good form, from injuries and the like. I will go big with an upset here and USA getting 1st place in group and England 2nd place.
Group D - This could be one of the most competitive groups, even more so than the annointed Group G of Death. Germany will be without its leader in Michael Ballack, and top goal scorer Miroslav Klose not in any sort of form. Serbia did amazingly well in qualyfing and have unknown talent in some of their players. Ghana will be without their leader Michael Essien out to injury for most of this season, but might get an Africian boost, we saw how talented they are at the 2006 Cup. Australia while having advanced in 2006 and heartbreakingly robbed by a crappy offical call in the Italy game, did not look good in their warm up against the USA last weekend. I have Germany number 1, and Serbia number 2 in this group.
Group E - The Netherlands are always one of my favorite teams in any tournament, they start out hot but find a way to fade in the knockout rounds, but i think this will be a much better result for them this year. Cameroon had made this tournament and playing on african soil should give them a boost. Denmark making a well deserved return to the tournament but i simply dont know who their players are, and Japan i have not seen ever on the big stage. I have the Dutch in number 1 spot, and Cameroon getting the 2nd place out of this group.
Group F - One of the weakest groups as i dont see New Zealand or Slovakia doing anything ofnote, New Zealand were horrible at the 2009 Confederations Cup. I have Italy going number 1, and Paraguay going 2nd. but that order could easily flip if Italy have trouble early on as they have in past tournaments.
Group G - The much talked about group of death. There will be some great games played in this group. The apparant loss of Didier Drogba for Cote D'Ivorie is a huge blow and at age 32 this was probably his last world cup, his form has been spectacular this entire season and hopefully we will get to see him play at some point. It will be inspiring to the team if he can get out there broken elbow or not. Brazil are brazil everyone favorite to get out of the group and mine also. Portugal has one of the most exciting players in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo, but barely made it to the tournament and have been disappointing as a national team. I have Brazil in first, and Cote D'ivorie in 2nd. Gosh i would love to be up in little west africa in Harlem to watch some of the ivory coast games.
Group H- Spain by far is in top form, having won the 2008 Euros and donig well in the 2009 Confederations Cup and brining the same nuclus of a team. Star Striker Fernando Torres has injury problems that have seemed to plague his career but new Barca signing David Villa will fill in just fine with his goal scoring prowess. The rest of the group should not be very good and whoever comes out 2nd will have been in good form. i'll go with switzerland coming out of this group as they did well in the 2006 cup.
Ok my breakdown of the knock-out stages will come a bit later