Group thoughts ..

Discussion in 'GROUP A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay France' started by N. Platini, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. os_mutante

    os_mutante Moderator Staff Member

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    Probably not going to happen, but Domenech is at least on the examining table.

    French Federation Member Calls For Domenech Departure

    We'll see what happens on Friday...


  2. Shakur

    Shakur Member

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    For me, the toughest group of the entire World Cup. The most balanced group, with 3 teams on the same possibilities/level and other team being the host and surely taking some "easy" points from the rest.

    France, what do I have to say? They dont perfome the level they should, I think its wide world known that Domenech is a crap coach, and this time they dont have Zidane and the hard old rocks (Makelele, Thuram...etc) to help them clean their way, they will struggle and might get kicked in the first round. I also agree what some user said before, referees are going to be watching them very closely, so they aint going to have nothing for free. They are going to struggle to get each single point of the group.

    Mexico, well they always do good in first round matches/groups, I dont remember one world cup being kicked out in the first round, they always make it to the second round, its important to say this. With the new coach they are playing more solid, they dont have bad team, Mexico`s players are always skilled and they seem to being recovering their confidence. I expect much from Carlitos Vela, lets see how the young forward perfomes this time, and dont forget Guardado and Ochoa, 2 great young players who can raise their level in world cup, if national team has the enough confidence to play at their level. As I said before, Mexico tends to perfome well in first round so I see them making the first seed, of course they will also struggle, but not as much as France.

    Uruguay, I really dont know what to say here, they have great team on the paper, specially the offensive players: the Forlan-Suarez couple can kill anybody...but they havent perfomed well in a World Cup since yeeeeeeears, and when I say years im talking about a looong time. They sure havent chosen the best group to try it this time, being the toughest group in my point of view. First match will be very important for this guys, in fact, the Uruguay-France match-up might be the most decisive and important of the group (ironic because its only the first game). If they perfome good against France, getting one point or even winning that, I think they will get the enough confidence to try and get at least the second seed.

    South Africa, well they will be the host team. In 2002 nobody gave a shit for Senegal, a totally unknown team and everybody knows what happened there. I honestly dont know much about this team, but ive seen enough matches and world cups to say that situations like this Group A always gives surprises and struggles to the "favourite" teams. Lets see how the crowd takes this World Cup and if the coach can get the 100 % of them, maybe they can qualify, its a very hard task but they can do it. They have to benefit of the strong and hard fights rest of the teams will have...that is the key. Let them kill between theirselves and then get your chances. One thing is for sure: they are going to steal 1 or 2 points, maybe even more than that.

    My prediction:

    Mexico --> 6 points
    Uruguay --> 4 points
    France --> 4 points
    South Africa --> 2 points

    goal average decides who gets the second seed.
  3. Maruti

    Maruti New Member

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    Two things:
    Uruguay has a great defence and attack on paper. But the midfield is a bunch of second or third tier players. They can only score goals if the supply line is there. I saw a few matches in qualifying and the supply line is really poor and easily taken out.

    Key difference between Senegal and South Africa:
    SENEGAL: Anyone who watched the French league knew most of the Senegalese squad... they had Diouf (arguably the best player in the French league at the time), Diop, Camara and so on. All had been excelling in the French league just prior to the World Cup. It was a country with the luck of the whole squad hitting with their form (some of them had the form of the lifetime just prior to World Cup and never reached the same level again).
    SOUTH AFRICA: A selection of widely unknown local based players, a bunch of second or third tier European league players (Bernard Parker, Tsepo Masilela, MacBeth Sibaya), two or three extremely hot young talents of unchecked potential (Kermit Erasmus, Claasen), a few talented players featuring mainly as subs at club level (Bernard Parker, Elrio van Heerden), two hardened Premiership players long past their best form (Benni McCarthy and Aaron Mokoena) and one world class player (Steven Pienaar). Really the difference is easy to see...
  4. Autogolazo

    Autogolazo BigSoccer Supporter

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    OK, OK--here's my limb:

    Mexico 5 pts. (ties SA, ties France, beats Uru)
    France 5 pts. (ties Uru, ties Mex, beats SA)
    Uruguay 4 pts. (ties France, beats SA, loses to Mex)
    South Africa 1 pt. (ties Mex, loses to Uru and France)

    By the third match, SA will be spent, their thin lineup down a couple guys on cards and France can squeak by them and into the next round. You could seriously see France get two 0-0 draws and a 1-0 win.

    Mexico-Uruguay is going to be a thriller for all the marbles--essentially an elimination round game, since neither one will be through at that point. I see Mexico winning. Uruguay has talent--in some areas more talent--but not depth.

    If you watched the CONMEBOL qualifiers, Uruguay played a lot of counterattack, even against rivals like Venezuela. Mexico is used to teams counterattacking and Memo Ochoa is able to handle it by acting as a sweeper when he needs to.

    Uruguay doesn't know what to do with a lot of possession, other than earn set pieces. (You saw how frustrated they were when Costa Rica dropped back in Montevideo.)

    The only danger for Mexico is precisely these set pieces, because they still aren't good at defending them, Ochoa isn't good at them, and Uruguay is VERY good at them.

    So it comes down to: will Mexico hold possession enough to keep Uruguay's set piece opportunities to a minimum?

    I think they will, because they have a much stronger midfield than Uruguay. Uruguay has fast laterales and strong d-mids, but very little creativity or pausa (hence they turn to a young guy like Lodeiro).

    Lodeiro will be no match for the Mexican midfield. Uruguay will get frustrated and pump long balls to Forlan, while Mexico will patiently build out of the back. Uruguay has a strong but slow backline that will eventually be broken down by speedy guys like Vela and quick passing.

    That's how I see it happening, anyway.


  5. Pirru

    Pirru Member+

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    I actually saw Ochoa improve on set pieces this season

    same reason he had a clean sheet during the Gold Cup
  6. MexiGOL

    MexiGOL New Member

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    Nice job, it feels like play by play action. Ya I see Uruguay exploiting the height of Mexico and playing the longball as will the European teams. Our top defenders play in Europe so they've had a lot of exposure to that not to mention the many encounters versus the US. I see us coming out on top of the Urugashos as well. Your game prediction are very possible, but I hope we take down France. After all we'll have the whole world on our side for that game.
  7. graywolfe81

    graywolfe81 Member

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    I'm in agreement w/almost everything except S. Africa or rather the reasoning behind why S. Africa will tank. Honestly, I think they will fire on all cylinders their last game no matter what happens largely because they'll have either nothing to play for, and will want to go out on a good note for the home supporters or will have everything to play for and so will go for it. You are on point about cards. Just looked up the cautions for the confed cup, and they picked up multiple yellows in all group games (and one red), and 1 yellow in the semi, and 3 yellows in the consolation game. So they definitely pick up cards, which could be a problem. Still, I don't think they'll be exhausted, I think they'll be buoyed by the crowd regardless of the scenario, game 3 won't be a wilt. What probably will determine things is France's position. Last time they had underwhelmed in group play (something they've done in 2 consecutive world cups, and the last euro cup as well), and only woke up in the 2nd half of the last group play game (0-0 at halftime in a game against togo in game 3 that they absolutely had to win to advance out of the group phase in).

    For me for now (it keeps changing)


    France 7 France (ties Uru, beats Mexico, beats SA)

    Mexico 6 (Beats SA, loses to France, beats Uruguay)

    Uruguay 2 (ties France, ties S. Africa, loses to Mexico)

    S. Africa 1 (loses to Mexico, ties Uru, loses to France)

    S. Africa will fight hard but will lose to France 1-0 or 2-1.

    I agree with your group advancers for sure, even though I'd loathe to see France advance, and while I definitely think Mexico can win the group, I just see them struggling against France (which isn't entirely reasonable since Mexico has traditionally faired just fine against mediocre uefa sides, however, France is athletic, and has size, and the teams they usually fair well against are less athletic, and less technical than France which is why i give France the advantage, they are underachievers, and could easily lose to Mexico, but what they do well, is what Mexico traditionally struggles a bit with, teams that are athletic and skilled and size oriented). I hope Mexico wins the group though and they can do it, if Holland or Portugal had been the unseeded Uefa power they drew, I'd pretty much guarantee a 2nd place finish rather than a shot at first, but with this France, anything is possible.

  8. Susaeta

    Susaeta BigSoccer Supporter

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    That is a fair limb. I think people on this thread are generally underestimating South Africa's homefield advantage, though. While I agree this group is a toss up and could go in many directions, the least likely in my opinion is one where Uruguay advances. If I had to bet right now, here is where I would put my money:

    Code:
    Team   South Africa     Mexico    France    Uruguay   Points
    SA            X           L         T          W      4
    MEX           W           X         T          W      7
    FRA           T           T         X          W      4
    URU           L           L         L          X      0
  9. graywolfe81

    graywolfe81 Member

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    No points for Uruguay? Really? I think they could pull a point off France, I'm positive Mexico will beat them (unless major injuries ravage them between now and then), and I think they could get points off S. Africa. I know S. Africa is hosting but in truth, so what? S. Africa hasn't done the business against anyone in a real long while. Sure hosts have never failed to advance, but Japan almost certainly would have failed with a reasonable draw (instead they got the group of life in '02 and barely scraped by to their 2nd round auto-exit), this time this S. Africa team is not much if any better than that Japanese squad, and this time unlike Japan, they drew some definitively tough sides. Probably the toughest draw possible from pot 2, in Uruguay they got kinda lucky (Chile and Paraguay would hae presented them w/more problems and they were forbidden from the certain death scenario of pulling Ivory Coast or Ghana etc), and in the unseeded UEFA pot they got an underachieving side, but still a side that is generally regarded as the 2nd toughest side to draw out of tough pot. So they pulled the toughest out of pot 2, the toughest or 2nd toughest out of pot 4, and in pot 3, a pot with only one weak sister, they drew a solid if unspectacular side in uruguay. That's the toughest homeside draw since probably '94 when the US got Pele's appointed World Cup Favorite Colombia (fresh off stomping Maradona's Argentina at Argentina in a must win for Argentina qualifyer 5-0, a Romanian side that was clicking on all cylinders w/perhaps its greatest ever national player, and a solid if unspectacular Switzerland (the modern equivalent of Uruguay in terms of strength).

    This group could have been worse (drawing chile and maybe Portugal comes to mind) but not much worse considering the requirements for groupings with the host. As such S. Africa is pretty much dead meat. I don't think its unreasonable to say it. I'll be really surprised if they pull more than 2 points, and I expect them to probably only get 1.
  10. Susaeta

    Susaeta BigSoccer Supporter

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    Earlier in the thread I conceded I would not be surprised to see any of the four teams go through. My table was meant in the vein of, "if I had to place bets right now." People commonly underestimate the homefield advantage of a World Cup host team, and those dismissing South Africa may be surprised. Perhaps I am doing the same to Uruguay here.
  11. Metropolitan

    Metropolitan Member

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    Here's a funny fact I just noticed :

    This is not the first edition of the World Cup with a group made of France, Mexico, Uruguay and the host. That was already the case in 1966!

    At the time, The host won the group and Uruguay was the runner-up. Mexico ended 3rd and France ended 4th.
  12. jrinsd19

    jrinsd19 Member+

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    Thats interesting, didnt know that. Well since this time its South Africa as host nation ill say that the results will be reversed and Mexico and France advance instead. :D
  13. celeste4life

    celeste4life Member

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    This is such a tough group. You simply can't predict a single match. Should be fun though. When I first heard the groups, I was really pissed off. We were hoping for South Africa, Slovenia, and North Korea, but looking at it, its really not that bad. The host and 2 inconsistent teams that don't scare me all that much. Not disrespecting any team

    I can't wait.
  14. drunkguy10

    drunkguy10 El Sancho

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    dude, Uruguay is the most inconsistent of all.
  15. celeste4life

    celeste4life Member

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    You're telling me? I just picked Uruguay 1st cause its my country, but any of these 4 teams could end up 1st. So you expect me not pick my own country?

    Looking forward to spending a lot of time here.
  16. drunkguy10

    drunkguy10 El Sancho

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    If some one quotes your post, it usually means they are "telling" you.

    By the way, I don't care who you choose to support. I was just answering to your "inconsistent" comment.
  17. celeste4life

    celeste4life Member

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    sorry if what I said wasn't understood. "you're telling me?" is a common phrase which means something like "tell me about it", or "i know", etc.

    I knew you were talking to me the whole time. ;)
  18. Of_Wires_And_Birds

    Of_Wires_And_Birds Member

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    Blanco's better
  19. zasal911

    zasal911 Member

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    this is the group of death, to me. the most even, well rounded, competitive group ... i'm predicting Uruguay and France make it through
  20. Maruti

    Maruti New Member

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    Maybe back in the day... but currently he's like 37-38...still influential but nowhere as good as back in the day.
  21. Of_Wires_And_Birds

    Of_Wires_And_Birds Member

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    lol he's 36

    Blanco's like a fine wine, he gets better (albeit slower) with age.
  22. celeste4life

    celeste4life Member

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    Bad news for Uruguay. Cristian Rodriguez was suspended for 4 games. He already served two. We believed he was going to be able to serve another one against Switzerland on a FIFA Date friendly, but FIFA sais no.

    So no, he will miss the first 2 games of the WC, and his citation is questionable.

    :(
  23. emmex

    emmex New Member

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    This group is impossible to predict....

    But one thing i know about South Africa, is that they play better against stronger teams than against smaller teams. They also have the tendancy to lift their game more on home ground than the average team.

    My concern will be their tactics....If they are going to play through the middle too much when on attack, it will be of concern. They need to get their wingbacks to overlap (which for some reason they are specifically not doing). This country has great wingbacks....they attack and defend well...the problem lies more with the central defenders especially on balls in the air. And thats another thing, whilst Khune the most likely goalkeeper will play, that is one area he lacks, collecting floated balls. He has the best distribution of the ball i have ever seen from any goalkeeper and he is very talented, but he desperately lacks some basics especially on set pieces. Hans Vonk is taller and better in this regard. But as for Khune, Alex Ferguson was quite impressed with him.

    Another few things that can totally unsettle SA's opponents are their unique style of play. Few teams have a similar style to SA...they have an African/European style, and that can be unsettling....But if Pareira opts for SA slowing the ball down(like Santana did), they will not win....they are better at high tempo like England in my opinion cause they are like a pack of wolves who never die....In other words if they go on the field with a committed attacking attitude, they are very tough. I hope they don't fall back on the overly defencive approach. The faster the temo of the game, the better for SA having a chance....

    France:
    Heck knows....they tend to have the same moods as SA...slowing the ball down does not help their cause...
  24. Hecho en Chivas

    Hecho en Chivas Member+

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    same can be said about Mexico

    most of the time, we play like shit against other CONCACAF teams. we play down to their level for who knows what reason

    yet against top teams in international competition whether it be the WC, Copa America, Confed Cup, etc.; Mexico always raises their level of play ten fold

    it's night and day with Mexico, like almost a completely different team

    with the way Vasco turned the team around, a great mix of vets and young up and comers, and new players popping up recently making a name for themselves (Angel Reyna, Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Aldo De Nigirs, etc) it's gonna be exciting to watch how the team plays out
  25. Socrates_81

    Socrates_81 Member+

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    Tricky, so both teams play horrible against crap teams and both play brilliant against much more solid opposition. I wonder what will happen when they play each other?

    I would put my money on Mexico taking that match.

    Interesting match up though.

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