World Cup 3: England, USA, predictions

Friday 23 June (2006)

Well well well. Some things never change, do they? England failed yet again to beat Sweden, and the USA didn’t do very well in the World Cup.

That’s a bit simplified – the USA aren’t a bad team by any stretch of the imagination (fifth in FIFA world rankings) and they always seem to me like a very ‘honest’ team. That is to say, unlike the Europeans and the South Americans who have mastered the art of bungee jumping whenever a defender even glances at them, or the Africans who are still trying to get their heads around the whole non-contact business, the Americans play the game by the rules. If they foul, they foul, but they don’t try and cheat other teams out of free kicks or anything. Unfortunately, this didn’t help them against Ghana, but from England’s standpoint it’s probably a good thing that the US didn’t qualify.

And speaking of England… hmmm. Tuesday was probably our best performance so far, but it was the same old story – alright, but just not enough. Joe Cole’s goal was an outstanding surprise which brought the pub to its feet for a good five minutes, but our sloppy defending in the second half allowed Sweden to equalise. I mean, there was no one marking Allback. Anyway, good old Steven Gerrard, England’s best midfielder, came on and scored a header to take us back into the lead. And then, just to add another two years to that 1968 challenge, Sweden denied us a win in the final minute with another ridiculous goal. England, you may have won your group, but you will need to up the pace against Ecuador.

And! I just remembered. There were some spooky predictions in this match… firstly, five minutes in Sally said that she thought Joe Cole was going to have a big part in any goals England might be scoring soon – he did. Then later on she said she thought that someone would score in the 85th minute… and Gerrard did. Weird! And slightly less amazingly, at the half time point I predicted that the score would be 2-2.

And as I type it’s nil-nil in both group H matches. I made a prediction of the world cup outcome from now on yesterday, and I’ve already had to amend it after Australia clawed their way back against Croatia, who I thought were pretty much guaranteed to finish second. Oh well. Here it is (subject to change…)

Germany v Sweden: Germany
Argentina v Mexico: Argentina
Italy v Australia: Italy
Korea v Ukraine: Korea
Switzerland v Ukraine: Ukraine
England v Ecuador: England
Portugal v Netherlands: Netherlands
Portugal v Netherlands: Portugal
Brazil v Ghana: Brazil
Spain v Switzerland: Spain
Spain v France: Spain
Spain v France: France

Germany v Argentina: Argentina (but man, that will be a great game)
Germany v Argentina: Germany (but man, the Germans won on penalities again)
Italy v Korea: Italy
Italy v Ukraine: Italy
England v Netherlands: England (by the skin of their bollocks)
England v Portugal: England (this will be tough… I hate Portugal)
Brazil v Spain: Brazil
Brazil v France: France

Argentina v Italy: Argentina
Germany v Italy: Germany
England v Brazil: England (because, I have to believe)
England v France: England

Final: England v Argentina (Brazil finish 3rd)
Final: England v Germany (France finish 3rd)

There’s my uneducated guesses.

24th June: Wow! I totally got group G wrong already. I really thought Korea and Switzerland would fight it out and beat the Frenchies on goal difference. Or maybe I just wanted them to.

27th June: More incorrect predictions corrected. I thought Holland were having a much better world cup than Portugal, but those Iberian bastards did it again. Ronaldo… I just want to punch him over and over and over. Switzerland versus Ukraine has to have been the lowest scoring match in history as well… I mean Jeez, I walked into the pub at like half ten and it was the 26th minute of extra time – nil nil. I thought (mostly due to the big ‘HIGHLIGHTS’ sign in the top corner, which turned out to be some red-button option for digital viewers) it was a repeat of the game and asked the barman what the final score was and he looked at me like I was an idiot. Then the penalties! Man, the Swiss missed three and the Ukranians missed one before they wrapped it up after four. Still, the Swiss did really well to get that close, it must have been hard for them.

29th June: Well France beat Spain, so that threw my already wildly inaccurate predictions into more disarray. Following this we enter the quarter finals (on friday) and I’ve changed the outcome of one match: Brazil v France – France to win. Why? Well, I just have a feeling – I mean, they’ve done it before, and they’re playing well at the moment. Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking, because regardless of how well France will have to play to beat Brazil, I’d rather England played France in the semis.

30th June: I’m getting fed up of updating this thing. Bloody Germans! If it’s an England v Germany final then… hmmmmm, tough. It’s essentially a rematch of the final forty years ago, but this time the Germans have the home advantage. Let’s hope there’s a Russian linesman! (And remember, 5-1, 5-1…)


9 Responses to “World Cup 3: England, USA, predictions”

  1. Sally Says:

    Hey, what happened to including my amazing and accurate goal predictions? Joe Cole… and the 2nd on the 85th minute. Premonitions like that don’t come along every day…

  2. scabbzo Says:

    USA are poo. They’re only 5th in the world because in order to qualify they have to play against the worst teams ever, so they rack up the goals and points by twatting all over, for instance, the Bahamas. Same for Mexico actually. I mean, all of their players are from the Championship! From teams like Leeds, and Preston! Eddie Lewis, man!

    Italy, Ukraine and Portugal all winning by the skin of their bollocks though! We’re not the only under-performers. Hope Ghana give Brazil what-for today.

  3. stan Says:

    It’s an interesting point, but then they did well in the last World Cup. Of course, that was something of a strange World Cup in that most of the ‘favourites’ (France, Argentina) didn’t make it out of the group stage.

    Bloody Italy were lucky. Last fucking second… the Ukraine, well, that match was a toss up. Portugal did actually look dangerous when they attacked though, and I have bad memories of England Portugal matches. I mean, Euro 2004 for one, and that qualifier years ago when we were 2-0 up and lost 3-2… Still, we’re good at getting revenge I guess. (Sometimes.)

    Germany Argentina will be a fantastic game, but I’m not sure who I want to win – if Germany do, they’ll be so confident that there’s a good chance they’ll win the whole tournament. Alternatively, if Argentina win… well, they owe us one for four years ago. Actually shit, so do the Germans – let’s hope those cries of “5-1!” will piss them off and make them lose concentration.

  4. scabbzo Says:

    I want Germany to do well. An England Germany final would be class. We can sing that Dad’s army song.

    Can’t wait til this weekend. Might not bother with Italy Ukraine, but the other games should all be ace.

  5. stan Says:

    Yeah, they really will be.

  6. Sally Says:

    OK, 3 hours to the England-Portugal match and here are my predictions! Highly educated guesses of course 😛
    England win 2-1. Rooney will score and so will Gerrard.
    Here’s hoping…

  7. stan Says:

    You! You and your predictions! You jinxed it. Damn you!

    (I love you X)

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