With two legs of the group stages already done, tomorrow sees the last leg of the group games, with matches played simultaneously, begin. At the risk of getting egg on my face, here are my predictions:
Mexico vs. Uruguay: Both teams, you can say, "got the job done" so far. A draw would see both qualify, irregardless of other results. Yet, you have to feel they would both go for a win. One would get the early goal, the other team would equalize at the end, and then they would both indulge in time wasting.
Result: 1-0 Uruguay
France vs. South Africa: the game means more for the hosts, but a disunited France should still be strong enough for them. Yet, I will ignore my head and go with my heart on this.
Prediction: 2-1 South Africa.
Result: 2-1 South Africa
Greece vs. Argentina: Argentina (well, Messi really) has been absolutely fabulous. Greeks will be all out to sea here. Greeks will defend hoping for a break that will never come, and Argentina only know one way to play.
Prediction: 3-0 Argentina.
Result: 2-0 Argentina
Nigeria vs. Korea: this is a strange group, with a 1-0 win enough for Nigeria to go through despite two defeats, if Argentina as expected beats Greece. Korea, though, looked good. Though I see a 2002 run to the semifinals difficult to repeat, I would tip a disciplined and more physically fit Korea to win over the misfiring Africans.
Prediction: 1-0 Korea.
Slovenia vs. England: Even if England wins, what's the point - they are absolutely rubbish. Lightning does not strike twice and I would expect them to score an early goal through a set piece and defend it like the Italians.
Prediction: 1-0 England.
Result: 1-0 England
USA vs. Algeria: The Americans have been good, really good. If not for a refereeing call, they would have won their last match. I expect them to easily win this one.
Prediction: 2-0 USA.
Result: 1-0 USA
Australia vs. Serbia: This one is hard to predict. You would think the Serbians would be favourites, but the Aussies are a stubborn dog. Yet, if not for a handball, Serbia would be sitting pretty at top of the group, and the Australians can't end the game with the same number of players they started with.
Prediction: 1-0 Serbia.
Result: 2-1 Australia
Ghana vs. Germany: All the African teams have been terrible so far, and Ghana had the only victory, yet they never look like scoring. In fact, both their goals have come from penalties. And the Germans looked really good against Australia. I expect normal service to resume and for Germany to eliminate the last African team standing.
Prediction: 2-1 Germany.
Result: 1-0 Germany
Next set of predictions on tomorrow (Wednesday) night.