World Cup Previews Day 12: Group A and Group B Conclude

22 June 2010

French Coach RAYMOND DOMENECH after the bad performance of the french National Team. (Credit Image: © Panoramic/ZUMA Press)
Day 12 at the World Cup sees the conclusion of both Groups A and B. In Group A; while France and South Africa could still make the Round of 16, it will take Mexico or Uruguay losing, and overturning a massive goal difference. In Group B, Nigeria and South Korea are playing in a winner take all match where the winner advances to the round of 16. That is as long as Greece doesn't at least get a draw against Argentina.

On Monday, Jeff went 1 win, 1 loss, and 1 no result. His record now stands at 14 wins, 12 losses, and 5 no results. Johnathan on Monday though, went 1 win and 2 losses. His record now stands at 14 wins, 13 losses, and 4 no results.

Note: If we're using the handicap line, we will include what the spread is. If it spread is 0, a draw will mean no result. If we use the Over/Under line, just add the total number of goals scored in a match. Please note that this will all be based on the scoreline at Full Time (90 minutes). For betting purposes, only the result after 90 minutes are counted. Our odds are courtesy of Centsports.

10:00 am on ESPN: Mexico v Uruguay
Johnathan Starling: Mexico can't play for the gentleman's draw here, considering their reward is Argentina in the round of 16. Both sides showed their attacking strength on match day 2, but I slightly favor Mexico's in this one. My prediction is Mexico on the 0 line at -140. I'd cover yourself in this one in the event of a draw.
Jeff Hash: Yes, there is some incentive to both teams to go for a win here, and both teams have actually played pretty well so far.  Mexico did well in breaking apart an already disintegrating France during the 2nd matchday, while Uruguay took the hosts South Africa down as many expected they would.  But Mexico is most likely going to be without Carlos Vela and certainly will be without Efrain Juarez, while Uruguay will know a draw is all they need to finish top of the group and avoid Argentina in the round of 16.  Everything about this game screams draw to me, with a slight advantage to Uruguay.  My pick, then, is to take Uruguay on the 0 at +110.

10:00 am on ESPN2: France v South Africa
Johnathan Starling: Is everyone still laughing at the farcical scenes in the French camp on Sunday? I know I still am. Domenech is rightly concerned that some of his players won't show up. The ones that do show up, I think will be in body only. This match was off some sports books on Sunday, and I'll be honest in saying I'm surprised it's back on them now. My prediction is South Africa to win outright at +210. I just think the French are already thinking about how to spend the rest of their summer. Their manager is probably already thinking about the tell all book he is probably going to sell in short order.
Jeff Hash: Oh to be at the World Cup with your team falling apart.  It hasn't been a good few days for the French national team (and that's about as understated as Anekla's statement about Domenech was blunt).  Given this is likely to be the last match of Domenech's reign, and with the team all but eliminated, I expect France to do absolutely nothing in this match.  The problem with that is the hosts South Africa could well do nothing also.  They need a win and some help to avoid being the first hosts eliminated in the group stage, and while I think their chances of winning is much higher now, I don't know if its a lock yet.  Since I'm in the mood for insurance, I'll take South Africa on the 0 at +125, which is clearly a line that doesn't take anything about team unity into account.

2:30 pm on ESPN: Greece v Argentina
Johnathan Starling: I could write something on how Greece have even the slightest hope of a draw here, but why waste your time? Just save yourself the time, bet Argentina -1 at +110. At worst, you'll be getting your money back.
Jeff Hash: The good news: Greece is still alive, and has a chance.  The bad news: they are facing the team with the best combined points and goal difference in this tournament.  Argentina, with or without the help of coach Maradona, made themselves a force to be reckoned with in beating South Korea 4-1.  Greece beat Nigeria 2-1, but both goals came after Nigeria was knocked down to 10 men.  However, the margin Argentina has ahead of Greece could be the Greeks best hope.  Maradona has too good an opportunity to rest players for the knockout stage for him to not take it.  But even with that, I still don't think Greece is going to win.  But with it being close instead of a big margin win, my bet will be to just take Argentina outright at -185.

2:30 pm on ESPN2: Nigeria v South Korea
Johnathan Starling: I honestly don't know how to feel about this game. South Korea probably deserve it more, but this is probably Africa's best chance to get a side into the round of sixteen. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but I'll get into that more in Group D. This World Cup has boiled down to organization, and I think South Korea have the better organized group. My prediction is South Korea to win outright at +140.
Jeff Hash: Nigeria's has a lot of hard luck in this competition so far.  Having to open with Argentina is never a fun task, and following that with a loss to Greece due in part to a red card is a swift kick to the stomach.  Sadly, I don't think their misery ends with that result.  South Korea did well in breaking down Greece, but fell flat against Argentina.  But I think that was more of a result of things going right for Argentina than going wrong for South Korea.  I believe this will be the team who makes their way out of Group B in the end alongside the South Americans.  It could be with a win, but it could also be done on a draw.  So, my pick is South Korea on the 0 at -140.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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