World Cup Predictions – Group D

As suggested in earlier posts, the FIFA FIX Is IN and get prepared to see Brazil in the World Cup final.   I am not sure that Brazil deserves to be in the World Cup final, but then corruption has a way of levelling the playing field for all contenders.   In any event, some of the qualifying matches can be quite entertaining.

Group D promises to be one of the most exciting groups of the early qualifying matches.   Teams from this group have earned no less than 7 World Cup titles of the 19 World Cups played:   Italy (4), Uruguay (2) and England (1).   Now, only serious environmentalists and Tea Party freaks who have emmigrated to Costa Rica to escape Obama honestly think that Costa Rica has a chance of moving forward to the next round.  Nevertheless,  the remaining three contenders all have solid credentials to move forward to the next stage.

Manaus Football Stadium

Manaus Football Stadium for World Cup 2014

Here is the drawing for Group D for the 2014 World Cup with the FIFA March “Power Rankings” in parenthesis:

  • Uruguay (Power Ranking of 5)
  • Italy (9)
  • England (11)
  • Costa Rica (34)

Now I realize it is hard to believe that Uruguay – a country of 3 million – has a higher FIFA power ranking than Italy and England, but these lads play serious football and sprinkled among the national team are great individual talents.  In fact, no less than 81 Uruguayans play professionally for European and Latin American teams.

It is not surprising that most Uruguayans prefer to play abroad, since Brazilians jokingly comment that Uruguay is a country where 1/3 of the population is retired, 1/3 is unemployed and the remaining 1/3 work for the government.   Personally, I think a more telling feature is that the Reverend Moon owns the largest hotel in Montevideo.

Levity aside, Uruguay won the first World Cup in 1930 and upset Brazil in the finals at Maracana in 1950 to win their second world cup title.  I expect that they will advance to the next round in this painfully difficult group to predict.

England is always a consistent underachiever and I suspect that “the rot” will once again be exposed in a truly historical match against Italy in Manaus on June 14th.   The English Premier League attracts a great deal of attention among the media, but – let’s face it – the only place where English is spoken is in the football stands (Editor’s Note:  And it is not the Queen’s English) rather than the pitch.   Most of the foreign-owned league leaders are filled with mercenaries where English is but a distant second-language.  Indeed, even most of the successful managers in the Premier League are also imported.   Very sad indeed!

I realize that Italian football is in decline, but I believe that they will muster enough energy to beat England by using their heads rather than their diminished skills.  The only winner in this contest is Manaus which will be dreadfully hot and humid.   I suspect that the Italians will employ the “Rope-a-Dope” technique against the English that Muhammad Ali so successfully used against Joe Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire.    Personally, I detest seeing World Class football being played in these conditions, but then FIFA’s hypocritical bandits have never been known to do anything to enhance the quality of the game.

While I am giving a nod to Italy who play football with surgical precision, the real winner will the heat and humidity of Manaus.  A nil nil draw is quite likely and both teams would probably settle for that if they could avoid playing in Manaus.  If there should be a winner, the “better team” will most certainly progress to the next round.

Another reason I am giving the nod to Italy is that Caruso sang at the historic Manaus Opera House that was built just before the bottom fell out of the rubber market.

Again, I am looking for Uruguay and Italy to emerge from this group.  Games which stand out are as follows:

  • June 14th   Italy – England (Manaus)
  • June 19th   Uruguay – England (Sao Paulo)
  • June 24th  Uruguay – Italy (Natal)

A most interesting group, but do catch Italy and England in Manaus which is one of the earlier matches of the tournament and is likely to determine the fate of one of these two strong contenders.