World Cup 2010 draw countdown - Englands group of death

By 30 November 2009 04:02

The excitement is now building for the 2010 World Cup as the draw, which takes place in four days time, looms ever closer.

It is not yet clear who will be seeded in which pot but it seems likely that Fabio Capello's men will be in the first pot with reigning champions Italy and host nation South Africa.

The seeding system does not take notice of qualification performances so France and Argentina, who both struggled to qualify, look certain to be in the first pot.

Joining them will be European Champions Spain, five-time World Champions Brazil and Germany, meaning Capello's side will miss out on facing the big guns in the group stages.

Pot B will then contain the rest of the European qualifiers, including the might of the Netherlands and Portugal.

Holland were unbeaten in qualifying and Portugal seem to be England’s bogey country so either side will be tough to face.

Pot C will contain the teams from OFC (Oceania), AFC (Asia) and CONCACAF (North America) and is another tough group of teams.

The main dangers for England will be Australia and USA, while Honduras are expected to be dark horses in the tournament.

Australia's squad is packed full of experience and quality, including Premier League players Lucas Neill, Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer.

America will be able to call on the likes of Jonathan Spector, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley but have a young squad.

The final pot also contains tough sides with the remaining teams included – CAF (Africa) and CONMEBOL (South America).

The two stand-out nations in this group are certainly Ivory Coast and Ghana who both have a wealth of Premier League players.

One glance through the Ivorian squad shows why they are probably the strongest African side and capable of going all the way in their home continent.

Ghana have some quality players such as Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Stephen Appiah who can cause problems.

For me, England’s nightmare group would contain Holland, Australia and Ivory Coast and could possibly be the group of death with all four sides harbouring ambitions of reaching the latter stages of the competition.

- by David Brenchley

Source: DSG

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