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Prediction time

Right, time for your World Cup thoughts, punts and wild predictions. Here are mine. We’ll best price canada goose parka best canada goose jacket for skiing put this thread back up on July 10 and compare and contrast.

1. The old order will dominate. In 2002, Senegal, Turkey, South Korea and the United States were shock first-time quarter-finalists. It won’t happen again: there’s no sapping humidity this time around, and the big names aren’t beat-up and battered. Germany 2006 will be more like France 98, when Brazil, Argentina, Holland kids, Italy, France, Germany, Croatia and Denmark made the last eight. Boring, but true.

2. Best bet of the first round? Tunisia to beat Saudi Arabia at just under evens. Most of the Tunisians play in Europe’s bigger leagues, while the Saudis are, ahem, no great sheikhs. None of their squad play abroad buy canada goose jacket uk and they recently lost 5-1 to Iraq.

3. The United States won’t make it past the first round. Group E isn’t that difficult – Ghana’s defence is ropey and the Czechs are an ageing team – but most of the American hacks reckon the US aren’t as strong as in 2002. They’ll be fit and well-organised, sure, but canada goose coat buy canada goose jacket ebay – kensington with Landon Donovan, Claudio Reyna and DeMarcus Beasley all having indifferent seasons, they probably don’t have the quality.

4. The group of death is exactly that: given the right draw, the Ivory Coast and Serbia and Montenegro could have made the semi-finals. With that in mind, the Ivorians might be worth a small wager, at 10-1, to top Group C.

5. More speculative punts: 1) Louis Saha at 250-1 to be top scorer. If the Thierry Henry/David Trezeguet partnership doesn’t fire against Switzerland, Saha could get his chance against Togo and South Korea. 2) Australia to beat Brazil 1-0. Guus Hiddink is a wily organiser, and kicking players up in the air every two minutes – an Aussie speciality – could best place to buy a canada goose jacket just ruffle the Brazilians.

6. And buying a canada goose jacket online the winner? Everyone says Brazil, but I’m not so sure. World Cups are like big horse-racing handicaps: if there’s a short-priced favourite you look best canada goose jacket womens for value elsewhere. And Brazil are very short at 5-2. Ronaldo and Adriano have had poor seasons, and the seleção could play Italy or the Czech Republic in the second round, Spain in the quarters, England, Holland or Portugal in the semis and Argentina or Italy in the final.

But who else? Not one of the outsiders; they never win it. And not England, surely – although if Wayne Rooney was match-fit and Arsène Wenger was in charge they’d have every chance. Germany don’t have the players. The French do, but Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane don’t get on and it’s an canada goose coat 1000 calorie bariatric diet unhappy camp. Spain? Possibly, but only if their captain Raul, who’s been utterly woeful for three years, gets crocked. Portugal and Holland are interesting at 20-1 and 14-1 respectively, but their squads are thin.

That brings us to Italy and Argentina, who are nicely priced at 9-1. There’s a chance that both could spectacularly crash and burn: the Italians have a ready-made excuse with those match-fixing scandal shenanigans – always a worry, but it didn’t stop them in 1982 – while Argentina have the toughest group in recent World Cup history. But they are both in form.

Italy have beaten Holland and Germany this year, and in Luca Toni they possess a striker who scored 31 goals in Serie A this season. Argentina, meanwhile, have a frontline of Crespo, Saviola, canada goose coat 1000 bulbs free Tevez, Messi and Cruz – surely the greatest array of attacking talent after Brazil.

One more plus: if Argentina and Italy top their groups, they will almost certainly avoid Brazil until the final. After that, who knows?

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