There Will Be A New Champion

On today’s evidence, neither Brazil nor France are going to win the World Cup.

France stuttered to a 1-1 draw against the South Koreans – a good team but not good enough to make the French struggle. Granted, Vieira’s goal was disallowed and Henry missed a couple of sitters, but overall France did not finish off the opposition, nor did they ever look like in total control of the game.

The result leaves France on 2 points and in danger of not qualifying for the second round. The math is simple – if the Swiss win tomorrow, they will be tied with the Koreans at 4 points, and a draw between the two on the 23rd would leave France not only needing to win against Togo but also to win by 2 goals (Togo, if you remember, have serious ‘financial’ troubles although they managed to score against South Korea).

In Group F, Brazil top the pile without really playing the sort of attractive football everyone expects them to. The trouble is that when needed, they are likely to turn on the skills and then the opposition will be in a spot of bother. This is not 1998 – If Ronaldo is unfit Brazil have Robinho and Fred to call upon.

I don’t think the French have the quality to beat England, let alone Brazil or Argentina, and I don’t think Brazil have the quality to go unbeaten in this competition. They won’t lose to Japan, but in the knockout stages any team could beat them by playing smart (and not just hard like the Aussies).

[tags]World Cup, World Cup 2006, Brazil, France[/tags]

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