May 03, 2010
Group A has the host nation South Africa engaged and they come up against some tough opposition in Mexico, Uruguay and France.
The winner of this group will play the team that finishes second in Group B, and the runner-up in this group meets the winner of Group B.
South Africa are being guided by Carlos Alberto Parreira and better players are Steven Pienaar and Benni McCarthy.
The Africans best efforts to date in the World Cup have been making the first round in 1998 and 2002. South Africa will find it a tough task to get past three teams ranked in the top twenty.
South Africa has beaten Columbia (2-1), Denmark (1-0) and Guatemala (5-0) in recent friendlies to go into the World Cup with some solid form behind them. Katlego Mphela has scored four goals in the last three practice games which included three penalties.
Mexico has reached the quarter finals twice in 1970 and 1986 and coach Javier Aguirre will be relying on stars such as Giovani dos Santos, Andres Guardado and Javier Hernandez to take Mexico to the next round.
Mexico has played a number of warm up games in the past few weeks and most last month they lost to England (3-1) and Netherlands (2-1) while their most recent encounters have been wins over Gambia (5-1) and Italy (2-1) to suggest they will be close to their best come opening weekend.
Leading scorers in recent games have been Javier Hernandez with 3 and both Adolfo Herrera Bautista and Alberto Medina 2 each.
Uruguay has won the World Cup twice, in 1930 and 1950, and players such as Diego Forlan, Diego Perez and Luiz Suarez will be pivotal players for coach Oscar Tabarez. Uruguay have the talent to make it through to the next round.
The Uruguayans defeated Israel (4-1) in a friendly match on May 26th with Sebastian Abreu scoring a double.
France won this event back in 1998 and coach Raymond Domenech will be hoping star forward Thierry Henry can take his European form to South Africa. France are favourites to win this group and they have the necessary talent to get to the next round.
France has beaten Costa Rica (2-1), drawn Tunisia (1-1) and lost to China (1-0) in their past three friendlies to enter the World Cup on the back of some indifferent form.
Mathieu Valbuena and William Gallas scored goals in the latest warm up games.
World Cup Group A Predictions
1. France 2. Mexico 3. Uruguay 4. South Africa
France may have been lucky to qualify but now they are here one would expect them to win this group with the talent at their disposal.
Mexico are an experienced outfit finding form at the right time and appear most likely to grab second spot from their main challenger in Uruguay.
Uruguay as always will be competitive and could sneak into second spot if things fall their way, but we expect them to finish third or even fourth behind the home nation.
South Africa with the home crowd behind them could surprise on their good lead up form but they will find it a bit tougher against these more accomplished sides and will most likely bow out at this stage.
World Cup Group A Betting Markets and Odds
Group A First Match
South Africa and Mexico meet in the first match of the 2010 World Cup and it will set in motion a month long carnival of world class football.
|Jun 12th||South Africa||vs.||Mexico||Johannesburg||12:00am||Odds|
|Jun 12th||Uruguay||vs.||France||Cape Town||4:30am||Odds|
|Jun 17th||South Africa||vs.||Uruguay||Tshwane||4:30am||Odds|
|Jun 23rd||France||vs.||South Africa||Mangaung||12:00am||Odds|
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Filed Under: 2010 World Cup