Saturday, December 05, 2009

South Africa

'The Group of Life', was The Guardian's take on England's World Cup draw. Certainly, the usual big tournament complacency and a clash at altitude with the USA look the biggest barriers to the last-16. Compare that to Brazil's Afro-European Group of Death or Germany, Ghana, the Serbs and Australia, who make up our list of potential opponents in the first of the knock-out stages.

Spain should win the tournament, but won't. Argentina and France will come good but fall short. Portugal and the Germans are the most likely shock early exits, Holland the dark horses and Brazil, as ever, favourites. And England? At the risk of coming across all Trevor Brooking, they have no more or less of a chance than most of the teams listed above. Less, if Rio Ferdinand and John Terry continue in their current run of form.

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