First post! Mystic Blood predicts …

June 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

Right, let’s kick off with an instant hostage to fortune: World Cup predictions.

First of all, I think the winner will come from one of the two favourites, Spain or Brazil. Brave call. Still, they’re favourites for a reason: the squads are shot through with quality; the teams are settled, in both system and personnel; and there’s nobody missing through injury (yet). The only real obstacle I can see is an unexpected slip-up in the group, which would pair them together in the second round; while it’d be a hell of a game, I’m sure I’m not the only person who’d be a little disappointed to see one of them crash out early. So let’s be positive: Spain to beat Brazil in the final.

Naranjito will be happy.

Naranjito! Ole!

Outside of that, it’s open, and I’m predicting surprise semi-final opponents. On the one hand, I’m expecting France to come good. Yes, Domenech’s an idiot. Fine. But he was an idiot when they last got to the final, and if the senior players can take control of the team the way Zidane did in 2006, there’s quality, pace and goals in the team.

The other semi-finalist – and the team that will beat France in the 3rd place play-off – is the USA. They’re organised, they’re strong, they’re fit, and they’re not afraid to play to a plan in order to close down a superior team. This, I think, is the year that the economic inevitability of the USA begins to assert itself on the World Cup, and on international football in general. This is their graduation into ‘proper football nation’. And we’re going to have to get used to it.

Other predictions: Portugal out in the second round to Brazil (revenge for colonial occupation); England out in the quarter-final to France (revenge for Agincourt); Germany out in the second round to the USA (er … revenge for nearly killing The Hoff?); Argentina out in the second round to Mexico (um … no, I’ve got nothing).

Full predictions to follow.

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