World Cup the Final Countdown
This entry was posted on Monday, November 16th, 2009
This weekend saw the first of the two leg World Cup play-offs and many of the favoured teams are still not safely on the plane to South Africa 2010. France, Portugal, Russia and Uruguay all take one goal leads into their second legs on Wednesday night.
Elsewhere minnows New Zealand booked their place, the first time in 28 years joining Australia who also had pre-qualified and gives the Oceania group its strongest showing ever in the football finals.
Egypt looked like they would be staying at home until the 94th minute and a last gasp equaliser versus Algeria now requires a further one-off play-off game between the two sides to split the difference and send one heading south next year to compete in the largest soccer spectacle ever.
The bookmakers loved the weekends results, most went according to form, so there were some lucky gamblers too, but the tight scoring means that bookies like Ladbrokes and the rest are able to offer good prices on the more undesired teams with no doubt a shock in the offing somewhere amingst them so it’s worth checking out the prices on Ireland, Bosnia-Herz, Greece or Ukraine and Slovenia.
The World Cup Draw is made in South Africa in just 2 weeks time at the start of December and with so many top teams possibly scraping through unseeded there are no doubt going to be more than one or two Group’s of Death that many countries will wish to avoid to be able to proceed to the last 16 when the latter stage of the World Cup Finals goes into sudden death play-off.
England, qualified on the back of the best campaign they have ever had, but the likes of Brazil, Spain, Holland, Italy and the ever present Germany will be the other top seeds who will no doubt meet at one point or another next summer in the world’s largest football tournament in the continent of Africa for the first time ever.
(Being slightly biased, my Irish heritage will no doubt be kicking into gear again this Wednesday as I will the lads in green, from the Emerald Isle, to step up to the task in Paris and recover from the 1-0 defeat at Croke Park this weekend and come away victorious.
There will no doubt be quite a party in a number of shamrock bedecked places across the globe if they do!)