They say you should never write Germany off, but that is exactly what I am going to do. I know they were crap in 2002 and still amazingly got to the final, but they are even worse now and I don't rate Klinsman (their manager) that high. I will be surprised if they get past the quarter finals even with home advantage.
Looking at Group A, I can't see Ecuador or Costa Rica making it out of the Group. From memory, Ecuador are that team that play on top of a 23,000ft mountain, so their home wins help them qualify, they will finish bottom of this group, with Costa Rica just above.
Costa Rica 1pt
England will win group B, I really can't see us having a problem with Trinidad and Tobago, easy 3-0 win at least. Paraguay (the opening game on June 9th) will be more difficult but I think we will scrape through 1-0. I also think we will beat Sweden in the final game.
Trinidad & Tobago 0pts
Group C is the toughest group to call, 3 quality teams and 1 unknown quantity. Argentina, Serbia&Montenegro, Holland, Ivory Coast.
I think SerbiaMN have what it takes to win this group. They won their qualifying group ahead of Spain. So I'm going to go for the following. It's a tough call to push Argentina out but I do think Serbia are that good a team.
Ivory Coast 0pt
Have to go for Portugal and Mexico to get out of this group.
In Group E, I think the USA could once again surprise a few people. They reached the QF in 2002 under Bruce Arena (their unorthodox coach) and their US based players are interesting, particularly Landon Donovan. This is what I think will happen.
Czech Rep 4pts
I really don't want Brazil to win this World Cup, it will be too predictable. I'd rather Germany win it than Brazil. However reason tells me they probably will win it. They should certainly win this group. I'm hopeful the socceroos under Gus Hiddink might join them, but maybe that is wishful thinking.
I just don't rate any of the African teams this time. This is why I think they will all finish bottom of their groups.
I think the Arabs could pull off a shock here, I am not sure why I think that. Ukraine have Shevchenko up front so maybe I am wrong but what the hell.
Sweden bt Germany, yes I know I am sticking my neck out here, but I really don't think the Germans are any good. Egg on my face no doubt.
SerbiaMN bt Mexico, I think the Serbians are dark horses.
England bt Poland, well we should do.
Holland bt Portugal, close game, maybe pens.
Italy bt Australia, the socceroos are overjoyed to have got this far.
France bt S.Arabia, close game, maybe pens as well.
Brazil bt USA, very entertaining game but Brazil prove too much for yanks.
Switzerland bt Spain, The Spanish once again disappoint.
Sweden bt SerbiaMN, the Swedish manager fulfils his prediction of SF place.
Italy bt France, the French just a little past it, Italy score late winner.
England bt Holland, Euphoria sweeps the country as we ease past the Dutch but...
Brazil bt Switzerland, by several goals. It is looking so easy for the favourites.
Sweden bt Italy, on penalties!
England bt Brazil, I am going with my heart not my head!
England bt Sweden, Sven is torn but he never has to buy a pint again, I self combust!
I haven't looked at the Guardian guide which comes out today but I bet they don't predict an England - Sweden final.