Vital Blackburn World Cup Predictions
With the World Cup starting in 24 hours I thought it only fair that I round up the Vital Blackburn journalists and eds to try and have a stab in the dark at the what might happen at South Africa 2010.
Sasman, Walker, Bom Bom and myself have been asked the questions and you will now see the answers.
Fancy getting stuck in? Thought so.
1.) Let's start off with the question that everyone likes to ask... who is going to win the whole thing?
Bom Bom - You know chaps, I genuinely haven`t a clue, this is one of the most open tournaments in recent memory.
You could argue that Spain will be the favourites and that Brazil will be there or there abouts, you can say that England have a decent shout, you can argue that "Ze Germans" will be a threat.
Will Holland self destruct as per every tournament? Will the workmanlike, superstar-less Italians do the job again? It`s so hard to predict this time but if you are going to pin me to a team......Spain versus Germany in the final (as long as they don`t meet on the way) with España ultimately taking the World Cup home.
Walker -England of course!! However, if it's not us I can't really see past Spain
Mikey - It is wide open that is for sure, one of about 7 or 8 teams are in with a shout as far as I see.
For me though I reckon the time is right for Holland to take home the crown. They had a good qualifying campaign and have the flair and the discipline to go far.
Holland win I think, failing that... of course England ;)
Sasman - If Diego Maradona was not coach, I would put my house on Argentina. But with him at the helm, maybe just the garage. I do think the Argentines can win it, so will back them!
2.) Who is your tip for the 'dark horse' of the competition and why?
Bom Bom - There were a few "dark horses" possible until recently. Ghana losing Essien effectively rules them out. Mexico could be a surprise but then without the Dos Santos brothers, could be weaker for it.
Ivory Coast were my long time tip but with Sven managing them, it makes me trepidatious about choosing them. The Aussies are not so much a dark horse this time around really and New Zealand have a tough group, one which another potential dark horse resides in Paraguay.
I still want to say Ivory Coast but would not be surprised if Paraguay or Chile surprise us.
Walker -Nigeria because I have a feeling that an African nation will do well. They have as good a chance as any African nation so if all their top players perform why not!!
Mikey - I think that Serbia could be the ones to make a burst for it. They are as stingy as a virgin in defence with Vidic and Ivanovic and could thrive a few one goal victories.
My tip I think.
Sasman - As much as we Aussies hate them for Fabio Grosso's dive last time round, the Italians have gone under the radar, and thats probably just how they like it. WIll chip away with 1-0 victories, and slowly work there way through the stages
3.) Diego Maradona... genius or complete nutcase?
Bom Bom - Haha, well I`m not biased because of the Hand of God incident (best thing to happen to England in years heh) and I still think that he is a genius that has lost his grip on sanity.
His qualification run was disastrous and his team selection is mind boggling. One thing that Argentina will provide this tournament is unpredictability, however, Maradona`s insistence on using 35 year old Veron as the centrepiece of his attack could prove his undoing.
Out in the 2nd round and Diego gets fired and goes on a binge LOL!
Walker - Can't I say a bit of both?? As a person and a manager he's a nutcase but as a footballer the dude was a genius
Mikey - A bit of both. I would say that the two traits actually coincide a little.
His brains are in his feet but he has lost it a bit up top I think.
How you can nearly NOT qualify with the Argies is beyond comprehension and use over 100 players in a qualifying campaign makes Sven look rigid.
This could be awesome watching Diego Maradona.
Sasman - Nutcase. The guy almost did not qualify with Argentina. That is unheard of.....
4.) There always seems to be a big name to make a shock early group stage exit, who do you tip for the chop this time around?
Bom Bom - Argentina are still a possibility in my mind but I think that the 2 teams most likely to suffer that indignant fate will be the Dutch, who "should" get past Cameroon but you never know and Portugal, with Brazil and Ivory coast, makes a very tough group to get out of.
Portugal for me.
Walker -Germany are a well oiled machine when it comes to major tournaments and almost always do well, however, personally I don't think that their group is as easy as people might think so I have this feeling they might lose out.
Mikey - France. They cheated to get there, the manager is not liked and there is plenty of in fighting and egos.
Could be a disaster.
The Irish will be devestated :)
Sasman - I think there might be 2 casualties! The Portuguese just dont look like the Luis Figo led team of old. With Brazil and the Ivory Coast, a slip up and they might just be out. I think the Germans, whilst favourites to progress from Group D, will find themselves against 3 teams, Ghana, Serbia and Australia, who are all more then capable of stringing an upset. So possibly Portugal and Germany!
5.) Who will win the Golden Boot award?
Bom Bom - Who knows? This category is so unpredictable but I will say that, alongside my thinking of Spain in the final, the Spanish strikers of Villa and Torres should be up there and usually David Villa outperforms "El Niño" so I`ll go with Villa.
Walker -If we go far then it could possibly be Wayne Rooney, however, David Villa's record for Spain is simply amazing so I'll have to say him.
Mikey - I am going to say Diego Forlan. I think we might get a shock winner outside of the usual names (Torres, Villa, Rooney, Messi etc).
If Uruguay make it far it will be because the Man Utd reject fired them there.
Sasman - Very tricky, I will go for Robin Van Persie. I think he will be pivotal to the hopes of his nation, and will get a fair share of free kicks to slot away
6.) Someone always gets a big move off of the back of a World Cup to the Premier League and then flops an absolute dream, any tips as to who it might be this time?
Bom Bom - I'll list these as it'll be easier.
Vincent Aboubakar, Forward, Cameroon. One, should he get his chance, could earn a move, though likely to the 2nd tier of the Premier League
Ibrahim Afellay, Midfielder, Netherlands. The current star of PSV, could earn a big money move if he performs. One to watch out for.
Marek Hamík, Midfielder, Slovakia. Linked with a few Prem teams over the last 12 months and a performance in SA could earn him that move.
Matías Fernández, Midfielder, Chile. Was a good young player at Villarreal, now at Sporting and could be primed to shine in this tournament.
Milo Krasić, Midfielder, Serbia. The CSKA player could shine in an otherwise weak Serbian team.
There`s 5 who could get a move but in fairness, I don`t think they all would flop but you never know.
Walker -Someone from one of the Asian nations. I don't know who though.
Mikey - That South Korean lad who I cannot remember the name of. The one that has been linked with Rovers.
He looks destined for a spell in the EPL and to flop like a storm.
Sasman - With a name like Prince Tagoe, he is sure to shine! The 24 year old Ghanian striker might just seal the Africans second spot to Australia in Group D, making a name for himself with a brace against the Germans. A move to promoted outfit Blackpool will end with another contract controversy for the lad
7.) Which of the Rovers do you see having the 'best' World Cup?
Bom Bom - In fairness, the Aussies. Ryan Nelsen has already had the best world cup as the All Whites are already there, bonus for extra games!!
Cannot see Jacobsen getting much time with Denmark and it`s a real shame that Sweden didn`t make it as I think Olsson was primed for a breakout tournament. So for me, its Emerton, seeing that Vinny is off to Istanbul.
Walker -Ryan Nelsen. New Zealand aren't going to go far but I personally think he'll love it on the World stage.
Mikey - Ryan Nelsen. They will fairly certainly miss out in the group stages but I want him to do so well so, so bad.
Sasman - Silly question! Brett Emerton off course!!!! Should be fit and raring to go for the Germans
8.) Who will be crowned the official player of the tournament?
Bom Bom - Probably someone from the big nations, such as Iniesta or C. Ronaldo or god forbid, Wayne Rooney.
Walker -It again depends on how far we go but if Wayne Rooney plays to his true potential then this is his tournament to shine. David Villa is another I'd not rule out.
Mikey - If my prediction of Holland winning comes to fruition then i think Wesley Sneijder could take home the award.
Closely followed by Xavi and Sergio Aguero.
Sasman - Brett Emerton :D......I will go for Lionel Messi. A dazzling world cup for the Argentine superstar will immortalise him in his home country
9.) Make the best team you can purely of English and Aussie players...
Bom Bom - GK - David James
RB - Lucas Neill
CB - John Terry
CB - Ledley King
LB - Ashley Cole
RM - Steven Gerrard
CM - Tim Cahill
CM - Frank Lampard
LM - Mark Bresciano
CF - Wayne Rooney
CF - Jermain Defoe
GK - Mark Schwarzer
MF -Brett Emerton
DF - Glen Johnson
MF - James Milner
ST - Peter Crouch
Walker -I'll not be including many Australian's!! It' nothing personal (and a number came close but not many are as good as our options though in my opinion.)
Mikey - David James, Brett Emerton, Michael Dawson, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Aaron Lennon, Tim Cahill, Steven Gerrard, Harry Kewell, Wayne Rooney, Josh Kennedy.
I am just gonna plump for a first 11.
Sasman - .... you knew this was coming.
Any from the following 23
Goalkeepers: Mark Schwarzer (Fulham), Adam Federici (Reading), Brad Jones (Middlesbrough)
Defenders: Lucas Neill (Galatasaray), Craig Moore (unattached), Scott Chipperfield (Basel), David Carney (Twente Enschede), Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow), Mark Milligan (JEF United), Michael Beauchamp (Al-Jazira)
Midfielders: Tim Cahill (Everton), Mark Bresciano (Palermo) Vince Grella (Blackburn Rovers), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers), Jason Culina (Gold Coast), Harry Kewell (Galatasaray), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo), Mile Jedinak (Antalyaspor), Richard Garcia (Hull City), Dario Vidosic (Nuremberg)
Forwards: Josh Kennedy (Nagoya), Nikita Rukavytsya (Twente Enschede)
No all seriousness
Defence-Lucas Neill, John Terry, Ledley King, Ashley Cole
Midfield- Brett Emerton, Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard, Harry Kewell
Strikers- Wayne Rooney, Tim Cahill
Bench (7 man in world cup is it?)- Joe Hart, Vince Grella, Mark Bresciano, Stevie Warnock, Jamie Carragher, Jermaine Defoe, Steven Gerrard