With the World Cup starting tonight (and yes, Eli will be watching) another question, not the usual who will win or which team will get out of the groups, but which games would a bunny risk the rath of the family to see. A lot depends on tactics, if one team parks the bus and relies on breaks to score, that can be not so much fun to watch, and Eli is talking about you, Juergen Klinsmann.
Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Cameron, Mexico. Here the most entertaining game is liable to be the first between the two strongest teams, Brazil-Croatia. Brazil may be the strongest team in the Cup built on a strong defense but with players who can score, Neymar, Fred and Hulk. The only possible weakness is the midfield. Willian could fill that hole. Oscar, not so much. The danger, of course, is that Croatia WILL park the bus, figuring that a tie followed by two wins against weaker teams gets them out of the group. This is especially possible in spite of all the noises that the Croats are making because their best scorer Mario Mandzukic from Bayern, will miss the first game. OTOH, so does a loss followed by two wins and there is quality on this team including Luka Modric from Real. If Brazil scores early, look for a wonderful game.
For those bunnies who have not seen it, here is a great line from the Guardian about administrators
The minister of sport once described Croatian football as "a huge swamp of irresponsible behaviour in which there are lots of mosquitos that fly up in the air, suck blood and spread malaria".Group B: Spain, the Netherlands, Chile and Australia. Chile - The Netherlands. This should be the rubber match to determine which team goes forward to the eliminations. Spain, although growing old, has enough quality left to make it that far, but probably not to the semis. The Netherlands invented total football and if von Persie is healed (always a question) has a lot of fire power. Chile was third in the South American qualifying and is being tipped as a dark horse in the tournament. They play a pressing style and have some great players, Vidal (Juventus) and Sanchez (Barcelona), but so does the Netherlands with Van Persie and Arjen Robben. Chile is small at the back, and both Robben and Van Persie are over 1.8m, so this could get interesting, especially since this is the last game of the group and depending on the outcome of their games against Spain one or both of these teams could be desperate. The group could actually be decided by goals against Australia (sorry guys).
Group C: Columbia, Greece, Cote d'Ivoire, Japan. The weakest and least photogenic group of the tournament, thus the hardest to find a game worth watching. Take the Ms. to the mall. Cote d'Ivoire has some great players left from their golden generation, Gervinho, Yaya Toure, Salomon Kalou and Didire Drogba, but they always disappoint in Cups. Japan is like the US, strongest team in a weak confederation, Greece has always been as much fun to watch as paint drying with their defensive approach which leaves Columbia, a very good team that is in danger of going to sleep in a weak group. Save your money
Tomorrow Groups EFGH. Suggestions welcome