Group A: Mexico and Uruguay will go through. I believe Mexico will beat Uruguay for top spot, thus avoiding Argentina
Group B: Argentina and S. Korea go through. Nigeria might beat S. Korea, but I’m thinking goalless or 1-1 draw. Nigeria is currently -2 in goal difference while S. Korea is -1, so if Nigeria beat S. Korea, they are through.
Group C: England and the US will go through. England will beat Slovenia and Rooney will score – guarantee it. The US will fumble around but beat Algeria to go through.
Group D: Ghana and Serbia. I’m picking an upset. I don’t believe Germany will be able to beat Ghana while Serbia will beat Australia.
Group E: Netherlands and Japan. I think the Danes are too loose in defense and Japan is going to score on the break. They were tough against the Dutch and I think Denmark will struggle to break them down.
Group F: Paraguay and Italy. Crazy as it seems, the Italians will beat or draw with Slovakia to go through.
Group G: Brazil and Portugal. 7-0 took care of that.
Group H: Spain and Chile. This one’s the craziest. I just can’t bring myself to think Spain won’t make it through – especially with Chile’s suspensions. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Chile draws and Switzerland goes through at Spain’s expense. It would be an injustice if Chile didn’t make it.
Stone cold locks in this round: England over Slovenia, Serbia over Australia.
Still sticking with my pre tourney prediction – Brazil wins the World Cup if they win their group and the Dutch win if Brazil doesn’t.
Young players I really like in this tourney so far include: Ozil, Gio Dos Santos, Weiss (Slovenia), Elia, Gervinho, Navas and Subotic. Kjaer hasn’t been bad either – just has no experienced partner in central defense to bail him out on a couple of highly visible errors.