November 25, 2007

World Cup 2010 qualifiers offer England revenge against Croatia.: The draw for World Cup 2010 (South Africa) qualifying rounds was held today and put England and Croatia, who kept the English out of Euro Championship 2008 just this week, in Group 6 along with Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Andorra. What's your take on how this group will play out? What about the other groups?

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 01:48 PM - 8 comments

Quick points about the European qualifiers (PDF) for the World Cup: - Nine groups (eight groups of six teams each, one group with five) will play a round-robin format (home-and-away) in each group. - Top team in each group at the end of group play automatically qualifies for WC 2010. - Best eight runners-up out of all nine groups (i.e., the #2 teams with the best points and goal records) will then play a home-and-away elimination round to decide the final four to go to WC 2010. This is not round-robin play; it is more like a cup knockout format where team X will play team Y twice -- and against none of the other remaining teams -- and that's it. - That leaves 14 teams total to qualify from Europe. Confusing enough for ya? Love it.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:43 PM on November 25, 2007

Doesn't that add up to 13 teams (nine group winners plus 4 runner-up survivors)? Group 1 Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Albania, Malta - tough group, Sweden and Denmark are perennially tough middle-range teams if not better, while Hungary has a lot of history if not many recent results Group 2 Greece, Israel, Switzerland, Moldova, Latvia, Luxembourg - easiest group top to bottom? Greece is not the same Euro champ team... Group 3 Czech Republic, Poland, NORTHERN IRELAND, Slovakia, Slovenia, San Marino - CR should take without much problem. Slovenia might do better than expected. Group 4 Germany, Russia, Finland, WALES, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein - tough fight for second here - Russia not that great, the Finns will play them tough. Easy pickings for Germany. Group 5 Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia, Estonia - Turkey might surprise Group 6 Croatia, ENGLAND, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Andorra - Pretty tough group. England in total disarray right now, but do they even know it? Ukraine is very one-dimensional. Croatia an excellent team on the rise. Group 7 France, Romania, Serbia, Lithuania, Austria, Faroe Islands -- France might be on the decline by 2010, Romania and Serbia re nightmare #2 and #3, while Austria may have picked up their game. Plus who wants the away game at the Faroes? Group 8 Italy, Bulgaria, Republic of Ireland, Cyprus, Georgia, Montenegro -- Bulgaria is a popular dark horse team. Ireland? Not so much. Group 9 Holland, SCOTLAND, Norway, FYR Macedonia, Iceland -- A very deep group of 5, Holland favoured of course but any of the other teams yes even Iceland) could come through for second.

posted by rumple at 06:10 PM on November 25, 2007

Portugal, Sweden, Greece, Poland, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Croatia, England, France, Serbia, Italy, Holland, and Norway are my Top 14. Yes, I am a WC fan.

posted by SFValley_Dude at 06:50 PM on November 25, 2007

Israel have a real chance. This might cause a few security headaches for the organisers. Scotland and Ireland also have a shot - Norway aren't that good and Ireland need to get on top over Bulgaria. England have a lot of travelling, and some difficult away matches.

posted by owlhouse at 10:04 PM on November 25, 2007

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, Australia are in the Asian Group Of Death (TM), with China, Iraq and Qatar. Two go through. Will also be very interesting, and I'll get to as many qualifying matches as I can.

posted by owlhouse at 10:06 PM on November 25, 2007

What's the opposite of group of death? Whatever you call it, that's what the US appear to have in CONCACAAF. Only threat to getting out of the group stage is Guatemala and potential disaster in the match at Cuba (from the crowd, not the team). I give Israel a shot at at least making the second place playoffs and a shot at the top spot, depending on which Greece shows up in these matches. England are in a tough spot and will be lucky to qualify for South Africa, same for France if the players show up with a too arrogant attitude.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:40 PM on November 25, 2007

rumple, I'm sorry, yes, it's 13 -- not 14 -- to qualify from Europe.

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:55 AM on November 26, 2007

Confusing enough for ya? It's not even vaguely confusing from a European perspective.

posted by squealy at 01:58 PM on November 26, 2007

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