Italy 10/1 Pirlo (Milan), Zambrotta (Milan), Buffon (Juventus)
Paraguay 40/1 Roque Santa Cruz (Man City)
New Zealand 1000/1 Hopefully God or Satan
Slovakia 150/1 Skrtel (Liverpool)
Italy seems like the easy favorite here, but Italy is old, lacking on goal-scoring power, and the attribute that keeps them in World Cup contention, defense, is lacking sorely. This team seems put together just to make their defense of the title before the team blows up into the youth movement. It's unfortunate that I pulled this team in my betting pool. Italy is going to have to pull out some of that defense out of their ass to make it past the first round of the knockout stage, if they make it there. Paraguay and Slovakia are more appealing to me as teams that would pull out of this group. Paraguay has some athletes on their team and Slovakia has a youthful midfield. Both of these factors can cause an old team problems. If Italy advances to the knockout stage, don't expect them to look impressive doing it.
Brazil 11/2 Nilmar (Villareal), Robinho (Santos), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Kaka (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Milan), Daniel Alves (Barca), Lucio (Inter), Maicon (Inter), Julio Cesar (Inter)
Korea DPR 125/1 LMAO.
Côte d'Ivoire 25/1 Drogba (Chelsea), Kalou (Chelsea), Yaya Toure (Barca), Eboue (Arsenal), Kolo Toure (Man City)
Portugal 20/1 Simao (Athletico Madrid), Critiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Tiago (Athletico Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Carvalho (Chelsea), Ferreira (Chelsea), Bruno Alves (Porto)
That's just dick to put the nukey Asians no one wants to listen to in the group of death. Initially, I felt Brazil and the Ivory Coast were coming out of this, but with Drogba hurt, Portugal may have been given a gift. Now, Drogba is said to return the second game, but this guy is THE scoring option for the Ivory Coast with Kalou more of a support striker. Portugal is traditionally soft, so I see the Ivory Coast
midfield bossing Portugal around. Brazil is so good they didn't put Ronaldinho (who's in the commercials for the World Cup HAHA) on their squad. I still think he's really good, so them not including horse face shows they're looking for chemistry more than just putting an all-star team together. This is the only time Robinho gets to go against top talent, so he'll be eager to prove until he is chokes under pressure, but you have two top guys to rotate with him. Brazil is my favorite to the finals, of course, but it'll be interesting to see if they can maintain defensive intensity when they need to. Their defense is better than previous years with basically Inter Milan as their backline and goalie. That group is pretty good at D thanks to Mourinho. I'm picking Brazil and Portugal to come out unless Drogba gets back to full health.
Spain 4/1 David Silva (Valencia), Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Xabi Alonzo (Real Madrid), Cesc Fabragas (Arsenal), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Barca), Iniesta (Barca), Puyol (Barca), Pique (Barca), Albiol (Real Madrid), Casillas (Real Madrid)
Switzerland 150/1 Blaise Nkufo (Seattle Sounders FC)
Honduras 1000/1 Palacios (Tottenham),
Chile 40/1 Jean Beausejour (Club America), Mark Gonzalez (Moscow), Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad)
This is probably the easiest group Spain has ever played in. As you can see, Spain is stacked with Real Madrid and Barca players, and not just in one part of the field. Spain is the favorite to win the World Cup because they have Torres and David Villa up top, Fabragas passing to them in mid, and Real Madrid and Barca on D. Shit is over. Switzerland had higher profile players, but not really, so I just wanted to mention that they have an MLS player on their team. Chile will be alright. Watch for my Club America homie. He's fast.
I have Spain and England in the finals, but that's because Spain beats Brazil. This year's World Cup is going to ownnnnnnnnnnn so enjoy Nicky P and I's coverage because there's going to be a lot to celebrate this blog's 4 year anniversary. You're fucking welcome.