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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Quarter Finalist - The Big 8

Back to square one - No upsets. Not like 2002 with South Korea & Turkey in the SF. The new face among the big 8 probably Ukraine. The matchup looks like this:-

* Germany vs Argentina - on paper Argentina looks superior. But on the current form it should be 50-50. Hmmm it will be an exciting game. At the end it will be one winner. Hopefully Germany by 1-0.
* Italy vs Ukraine - clear cut Italy to win by 2-0.
* England vs Portugal - In Goran they trust to beat Luiz Felipe Scolari's Portugal without Deco & Costinha. Portugal can spring an upset. But England looks bad enough to win by 1-0 with Rooney the scorer in the big game.
* Brazil vs France - The below-par Brazil samba past Ghana to meet French golden oldies who make a fool out of red-hot Spain. A classic rematch of that 1998 Finals will be revisited. Brazil with more quality players and cohensive in their moves especially the attacks. I think Brazil will get their revenge. Brazil 3-1.

Therefore the SemiFinals shall be Germany vs Italy & Brazil vs England.

The Final will be Brazil vs surprisingly ITALY.......the year of the dog theory beb !

We are the CHAMPION - ITALY !!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

World Cup Fever

World Cup Fever is ON !! Which of the 32 Teams is your favourite ?? Me, ITALY. And I pick ITALY and Brazil to be in the Final. Interestingly according to The Star (15 June) whenever the World Cup takes place in the Chinese horoscope Year of the Dog, the champions have either Brazil or Italy - and 2006 is the year of dog. European teams namely Italy, Germany, England and France have only been able to win on their own continent while Uruguay and Argentina triumphed only on South American soil. Only Brazil has won globally - in Europe(1958), S.America(62 & 70), N.America(94), and Asia(2002). That means the 2006 World Cup champion is likely to be from Europe. If the winner is Italy, the Dog year theory will be reinforced.

In April this year, Bloomberg business news service reported that Zurich-based UBS AG, drawing on its experience in statistics and econometrics, predicted that in July 9 final in Berlin, Italy would beat Brazil. That's interesting !!

All the Top 10 teams in FIFA Ranking are in the World Cup this year. For FIFA World Ranking #11-20, big names missing are Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, Cameroon, Egypt, Greece. For FIFA Ranking #21-30, big names missing are Uruguay, Romania, Colombia, Senegal. After the first game for all teams, the teams that impressed me the most are Italy, Spain, Czech Rep, Germany, Ecuador, and Australia. Game between Tunisia & Saudi Arabia was not too bad either. Looks like Germany, Ecuador, and England will be the first teams to qualify for 2nd round with 2 wins & Poland, Paraguay, & Costa Rica the first to say bye bye with 2 lost in the row. So far my routine is to watch 9pm & 12pm games but skip the 3am game. Happy watching all the live games on Astro !!

The following is all teams by Group with their FIFA World Ranking, Star to watch, Odds to win World Cup, and their Jersey. The lower the odds# the better the chances to win the World Cup. Have fun !!

Group A (Total World Ranking 113 + Total Odss 562 = 675 Rank#4)
Germany 19 Michael Ballack 7 adidas
Costa Rica 26 Paolo Wanchope 350 puma
Poland 29 Maaiej Zurawski 80 puma
Ecuador 39 Ivan Hurtado 125
Group B (106 871 = 977 Rank#8 - The Weakest Group)
England 10 Steven Gerard 8 umbro
Sweden 16 Zlatan Ibrahimovic 33 umbro
Paraguay 33 Nelson Valdez 80
Trinidad & Tobago 47 Dwight Yorke 750 adidas
Group C (88 149 = 237 Rank#1 - The Strongest Group)
Holland 3 Ruud van Nisterooy 10 nike
Argentina 9 Juan Roman Riquelme 7
Ivory Coast 32 Didier Drogba 66 puma
Serbia & Montenegro 44 Nemanja Vidie 66
Group D (91 810 = 901 Rank#7)
Mexico 4 Rafael Marquez 40 Nike
Portugal 7 Luis Figo 20 nike
Iran 23 Ali Karimi 250 Puma
Angola 57 Akwa 500
Group E (68 371 = 439 Rank#3)
Czech Rep 2 Pavel Nevdad 33 puma
USA 5 Landon Donovan 80 nike
Italy 13 Francesco Totti 8 puma
Ghana 48 Michael Essien 250 puma
Group F (86 327 = 413 Rank#2)
Brazil 1 Ronaldinho 2 nike
Japan 18 Shunsuke Nakamura 150
Crotia 23 Darijo Srna 50 nike
Australia 44 Harry Kewell 125
Group G (134 612 = 746 Rank#5)
France 8 Thiery Henry 12 adidas
South Korea 30 Park Ji-sung 150 Nike
Switzerland 35 Philippe Sendros 100 puma
Togo 61 Emmanuel Adebayor 350 puma
Group H (106 780 = 886 Rank#6)
Spain 6 Cesc Fabreges 14 adidas
Tunisia 21 Silva Dos Santos 200 puma
Saudi Arabia 34 Sami Al-Jaber 500 puma
Ukraine 45 Andriv Shevchenko 66 lotto
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