It's finally here! Christmas in June! As I write this, I am wearing my Mexican sombrero and blowing my South African zuzuela, frantically cheering for both teams like the neutral that I am as the first match of World Cup 2010 is in its embryonic moments.
I've got Mexico winning this match 2-1. South Africa is a squad nobody takes seriously, but they have played really well in preparation and the festive atmosphere should give them a boost.
So at this point I think it's only fair that I bestow my group stage picks on you:
Mexico, Uruguay- France has been a mess for the last couple of months, and they are in a tough enough group that they won't be able to get out of their own way
Argentina, Nigeria- Haven't been to impressed with Nigeria lately, but they have the benefit of being more talented than South Korea and Greece, so they will squeak thru.
England, US- Honestly I think it's a tossup between US and Slovenia to get 2nd in this group, but it would be so crippling to US soccer not to advance that I have to pick them.
Germany, Serbia- Ghana is missing Michael Essien, and Serbia has a lot of talent
Netherlands, Denmark- Pretty much all of the African teams seem to be misfiring in their prep matches, that includes Cameroon
Italy, Slovakia- Slovakia gets the 2nd spot in the weakest group in the tournament
Brazil, Portugal- This was the Group of Death before Drogba's injury took out Ivory Coast
Spain, Chile- Spain got a really easy draw here. Chile and Switzerland are kind of a toss up, but whatever. Either one gets drummed out in the round of 16
Mexico over Nigeria- I'm all over Mexico. There's a big Tecate billboard on my way to work with some of the Mexican stars on there, most notably Cuauthemoc Blanco doing his Usain Bolt goal pose.
England over Serbia- It's England's destiny to eventually get knocked out by Germany on PKs, like always.
Germany over US- Kind of unsettling that even if the US advances, Germany almost certainly awaits.
Argentina over Uruguay- U R Gay
Netherlands over Slovakia- Slovakia gets Van der Sloot'ed
Brazil over Chile
Italy over Denmark
Spain over Portugal- Wowwww how's this for a round of 16 match??
England over Mexico
Germany over Argentina
Brazil over Netherlands
Italy over Spain
Germany over England- On PK's of course
Brazil over Italy
Brazil over Germany- MMMM how's that chalk taste?
Okay those be my picks. Currently we're about 30 minutes into Mexico/South Africa and it's still scoreless. Full recap of this match and Uruguay/France tomorrow!