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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Brasil 2014 - Here We Go! - Shola's World Cup Spoofery


IT'S FINALLY BLOODY HERE!

So here we are, the day of, and I have way too much information going round inside my head so I've clearly over prepared, I'm not really sure of anything anymore so I've decided to chuck everything from my mind and make ridiculously knee-jerk gut reactions (sounds painful I know and biologically suspect).

Now predictions wise, I said Italy in 2010 and France in 2012 so I'm going to calm myself down a bit and go for Brazil, Spain or Argentina or Germany. I honestly think Spain can do it again, they haven't got any worse to be honest. As regards Argentina, it all depends on how their defence shapes up this time, Brazil's second round opponents being either Spain, Chile or the Netherlands (or Australia!) will be interesting and go a long way to deciding their fate in the tournament and Germany I'm just not sure about.

I'd like to see Japan doing well, I've always enjoyed watching them play and the group draw is generous enough for them, I have Nigeria down as doing something but I'm usually very wrong about African teams. I'd also like to see Bosnia & Herzergovinia do something in their first World Cup but they have a really tough first game against Argentina, lose that, and I have them down to, suddenly pressure's on.

I've also perversely gone with England doing well in the group, I think if they go at Italy and really go at them they'll win but if they're cautious at all they're in trouble. Also think Uruguay will struggle, Suarez for fitness and also just because of Lugano.

I've cautiously backed Rooney each way for top scorer at 50/1, this not having scored in two World Cup finals thing is a bit overamped, between suspensions it's only what 5 or 6 games, plus with Welbeck injured and Sturridge nearly nailed on to get injured because he's genuinely a threat for them means he'll probably end up the main man. But after all that I've gone for Aguero as my main bet for top scorer, can get a few in the group stage to boost his chances. So if I was you, put your money on Higuain.

LOOKING FORWARD TO: Neil Lennon and Dunphy sitting beside each other, a 2am kickoff, Apres Match, looking back at my predictions and shaking my head in disbelief, legging it home from work between games.

NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO: Constant injury updates, no Roy Keane, convincing myself not to order takeaway before the 23:00 games, deciding whether to play football in the evenings or just watch it, losing all my bets.

So I've predictions up as far as Monday below. I was thinking the Croats might shock Brazil in the first game with their attacking threat, but then realised Mandzukic is suspended so I've gone with a narrow win for the hosts. The England/Italy score will stand out, I'm also expecting lots of goals in this tournament, just presuming teams will be absolutely shattered with 20 mins to go in each game as my only premise.

Thursday 12th June
Brazil 2-1 Croatia

Fri 13th June
Mexico 1-1 Cameroon
Spain 0-0 Netherlands
Chile 2-0 Australia

Sat 14th June
Colombia 1-0 Greece
Uruguay 1-0 Costa Rica
England 3-1 Italy
Ivory Coast 2-2 Japan

Sunday 15th June
Switzerland 2-0 Ecuador
France 2-0 Honduras
Argentina 2-1 Bosnia & Herzegovinia