Group G – Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Portugal

Group G is home to Brazil who are always one of the teams to beat in the World Cup and alongside the Brazilians are North Korea, Ivory Coast and Portugal.

The winners of this group will face the runner-up of Group H and the second placed team will meet the winners of Group H.

Brazil is one of the best teams to ever compete in the World Cup and they stand alone as a 5 time winner of this tournament, with wins in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.

The Brazilians finished top of their qualifying group and under the coaching of Carlos Bledorn Verri, or Dunga as he is widely known, they quickly turn defence into attack and are one of the major chances to lift the 2010 World Cup trophy.

Brazil has beaten Zimbabwe (3-0) and Tanzania (5-1) in easy fashion in final preparations for the 2010 World Cup with Robinho scoring three goals and Ramires two.

Brazil has plenty of stars and Kaka, Luis Fabiano and Julio Cesar are amongst the best and bookies have the Brazilians in the top three of betting to win the tournament.

North Korea coach Kim Jong-hun has a big job ahead to make it past this stage with his team and he has done a terrific job to gain qualification to this point with a team who are very sound defensively, but lacking in firepower up front.

An Yong Hak, Jong Tae-se and Hong Yong Jo are the more well known players for North Korea and they will certainly have a crack, but they are going to be outclassed here and the bookies have them the longest odds along with New Zealand to win this tournament.

North Korea could only manage a draw in recent friendlies played. They lost to Paraguay (1-0) before drawing with Greece (2-2) and then went down to Nigeria (3-1) with Jong Tae-Se scoring all three goals for the Koreans.

Ivory Coast is now being led by Sven-Goran Eriksson who has previously guided England to a Quarter Finals berth and much interest will focus on his exploits as much as this exciting African team.

This will be the Ivory Coast’s second successive appearance at the World Cup performing admirably in 2006 and will be much better for the run here.

Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Gervinho and Kolo Toure give the Elephants many attacking options and they will fancy themselves to get through to the next round on their home soil.

In latest warm up games the Ivory Coast scored a draw with Paraguay (2-2) before a comfortable win over Japan (2-0) with Didier Drogba, Aureliano Torres and Kolo Toure all finding the back of the net.

Bookies expect the Ivory Coast and Portugal to fight out second spot behind Brazil and the first game clash between these two teams will go a long way to deciding who will most likely take one of the top two spots in the group behind expectant winner Brazil.

Portugal has came of age in recent times and coach Carlos Queiroz took a while to blend his team together during the qualifying rounds but eventually they gelled to ensure qualification.

Portugal finished fourth in the most recent 2006 World Cup and with stars such as the skilful Cristiano Ronaldo combined with the strength of Ricardo Carvalho down back and the midfield ability of Raul Meireles, Portugal are a team will be expecting to get through to the next round.

Portugal recent friendly results saw a disappointing draw with Cape Verde Islands before they scored a good win over Cameroon (3-1) with Raúl Meireles kicking two goals and Nani chipping in with one. The final warm up game for Portugal resulted in a win over Mozambique (3-0) on Tuesday 8th June with Hugo Almeida scoring two goals for the Portuguese.

The Portuguese could do much damage if they can get past this stage but everyone in the team will need to be on the same page.

World Cup Group G Predictions

1. Brazil 2. Ivory Coast 3. Portugal 4. North Korea

Brazil are all class and the world stage is where the excel and it should be a mere formality for the Brazilians to win this group.

Ivory Coast on their home soil could rise to the occasion and the first Group G match will ultimately decide second spot. We think Eriksson can get the job down and get the Africans through to the next round at the expense of Portugal.

The Portuguese have the talent but with so many egos in one place they will all have to come together as one to make it work. Good enough to finish second but we predict them to just miss behind the Coasters. North korea will be competitive but ultimately will be outclassed in this group.

World Cup Group G Betting Markets and Odds

World Cup Group G First Match
The Ivory Coast and Portugal clash in the first match in Group G at Mandela Bay and it will be a pivotal result for this group.

Jun 16th Ivory Coast vs. Portugal Mandela Bay 12:00am Odds
Jun 16th Brazil vs. North Korea Johannesburg 4:30am Odds
Jun 21st Brazil vs. Ivory Coast Johannesburg 4:30am Odds
Jun 21st Portugal vs. North Korea Cape Town 9:30pm Odds
Jun 26th Portugal vs. Brazil Durban 12:00am Odds
Jun 26th North Korea vs. Ivory Coast Nelspruit 12:00am Odds

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Filed Under: 2010 World Cup