Monday, June 14, 2010

Its Italy ... what do you expect ?

The usually tortoise like start to a World Cup Tournament for my picks Italy tonight, as is par for the course a Draw in their first match sets them on the way.
I've been having a few interest bets while watching the matches, with my first bet being on Slovenia in the 'Thrill a Minute' victory over Algeria. A mixed set of results since but still showing a 2.89pts profit after todays three games.
I've begun looking at the form of the teams myself and drawing my own conclusions in a thread on the Ace of Clubs Forum so I thought my analysis should be available to an even smaller audience which is why I'll publish anymore I do on here also.

Below are my thoughts on tomorrows first two matches

Slovakia v New Zealand

Slovakia are probably the worst European team to qualify for the Finals - and I include Greece in that assumption - they seem to be able to grind out results against other Eastern Bloc countries and have been fairly well organised defensively of late. But without any major flair players I don't expect a plethora of goals from the Slovak's.
If Slovakia are the worst European team to qualify for the finals then New Zealand are the worst team to qualify period ..... Well and truly dumped on in their Confederations Cup tournament played in South Africa in 2009 - where Spain put 5 past them, and Sth Africa 2 they are a team who rely on an Aussie A League player Shane Smeltz to provide the goals.
During the pre World Cup Friendlies they caused an upset, and almost a riot, when they beat Serbia 1-0 in Austria - they also lost 3-1 to Slovenia in another prep for this game against Slovakia.
In Summary following on the patterns of the matches so far in this World Cup I expect a pretty dour game, but its a game both teams need to win with Italy and Paraguay drawing this evening, a win here against a team both managers would perceive as being the best opportunity for 3 pts, is imperative. With that in mind I don't expect New Zealand to be ultra defensive which I hope will give Slovakia the opportunities they need to find gaps in the 'All Whites' defence and notch up a win. This will be the first time Slovakia as an independent nation has played at the World Cup, and I'm hoping they play with a similar patriotism that Croatia did in their first World Cup back in France '98.
Summary - SLOVAKIA WIN with an optimistic 2-0 as the final score.

Ivory Coast v Portugal

Something tells me we could quite a few goals in this match, both good teams who like to attack and playing in a match that is more akin to a knockout game, as the losers would probably need to defeat Brazil to progress. Portugal haven't played a decent team since 2001
and racking up results against the likes of Mozambique, Leictenstein, China aren't really the test that is required. They qualified via the European play-offs by beating Bosnia over two legs. They have some old legs in the team, but also have the worlds biggest knoob most expensive player in Cristiano Ronaldo, although he's had a few injuries the past season missing the play-off games - and hasn't scored for Portugal in over a year. I'm not certain that making him team captain is ideal for him, as motivational talking,intelligent thinking and playing good football is probably 2 tasks too many for the man. On the flipside they haven't conceded many goals playing the likes of Whaley Thorns Welfare so the jury is out on how they fare against another flair team like Ivory Coast (or Ivory Coats as I just referred to them in a typo )
The Ivory Coast have their own Superstar as Captain - Didier 'Smiley' Drogba - and have shown fair form in the African Nations Cup this year beating Ghana 3-1 in the Group Stages before leading 2-1 at 90 minutes against Algeria in the quarter finals until succumbing to an ultra-late equaliser and elimination in extra time. They haven't played a European Team in 2010, but with Sven'gali' Eriksson now at the helm they should be well versed on whats required - Apparently Sven has been teaching them how to play more as a team, and not 11 individuals and has concentrated on improving the defence - But hopefully not to much to stop it being an entertaining game.
Summary - MORE THAN 2.5 GOALS

1 comment:

OneLifeLiveIt said...

NZ performed better than a team than England did with a coach who gets paid approx £25k a year. Capello fucked up IMHO.