Flip Flop Flying

Man like permutations

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The advent picture today is another from the Christmas markt at Alexanderplatz. A hastily drawn sign for glühwein. I like the stuff above the cup. Not sure what that’s meant to represent… Heat? alcohol?

So, it’s the weekend, the that traditionally only a few people read this page. That’s a good thing really, you should have better stuff to do at the weekend than reading my shit. But I might use this opportunity to wonder what might happen in the World Cup next summer. I’m sure the world over there are geeks like me pouring over the fixtures and possible routes that their teams and other teams could have to the Final. The good thing is, if I write it here I’ll be able to look back and see how good or bad my predicitions were. (You too can do this with the help of the BBC’s nice little World Cup Predictor thingy.)

The Groups

Group A: Germany, Costa Rica, Poland, Ecuador.
Although you’d imagine Germany would win this group with relative ease, dunno who’ll be second. Could be Poland or Ecuador. Considering they’ve recently beat Brasil and Argentina, I’m going for Ecuador.

Group B: England, Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago, Sweden.
Fingers crossed, a team of England’s quality should win this. But, y’know, we’re not that good at making easy work of things. Sweden again, who could quite easily win the group, but I’m gonna be patriotic and go for England first, Sweden second.

Group C: Argentina, Côte d’Ivoire, Serbia & Montenegro, Netherlands.
The really interesting group. Four good teams. One bad result for the big boys and Côte d’Ivoire could get through. Still, Argentina and Netherlands are two of the best teams in the world, aren’t they? They should make it.

Group D: México, Iran, Angola, Portugal.
I don’t know enough about Iran and Angola, so ignorance says Portugal and México will go through.

Group E: Italy, Ghana, USA, Czech Republic.
No easy games for anyone here, really. Czech Republic, I reckon, will win the group. And I have a sneaky feeling that USA might edge out Italy. Would be fun to see some blue-shirted tears at the end of this group if that happens.

Group F: Brasil, Croatia, Australia, Japan.
Oooh, this’ll be a beauty. Brasil should win it, of course. I’m going for Japan to be runners-up.

Group G: France, Switzerland, Korea Republic, Togo.
France first, Switzerland second.

Group H: Spain, Ukraine, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia.
I want Spain to do well, what with their handful of Liverpool players. Shevchenko should see that Ukraine get through, too, maybe even in first place.

The Second Round

Game One: Winner A (Germany) v Runner-up B (Sweden)
If this World Cup wasn’t in Germany, I’d be betting on Sweden. As it is, I reckon Germany’ll sneak through.

Game Two: Winner C (Argentina) v Runner-up D (México)
Class should show through here. Argentina to go through fairly easily.

Game Three: Winner B (England) v Runner-up A (Ecuador)
C’mon! What do you think I’m gonna say here?

Game Four: Winner D (Portugal) v Runner-up C (Netherlands)
The Netherlands win. If this match happens, it should be good, eh?

Game Five: Winner E (Czech Republic) v Runner-up F (Japan)
I wonder if this one could be a shock result… I wonder, but I don’t predict one. Czech Republic to the quarters.

Game Six: Winner G (France) v Runner-up H (Spain)
Your guess is as good as mine… But seeing as though, one of these days, Spain have gotta do well, I’ll pick them.

Game Seven: Winner F (Brasil) v Runner-up E (USA)
Brasil, of course.

Game Eight: Winner H (Ukraine) v Runner-up G (Switzerland)
Ukraine.

The Quarter Finals

Quarter Final One: Winner 1 (Germany) v Winner 2 (Argentina)
If all goes to plan, and my American mate is out of the country when this game happens in Berlin, I’ll be there in Berlin’s Olympiastadion watching this. How juicy could that be? Alternatively, if England were to come second in their group and beat Germany in the the Second Round, it could be England v Argentina. Even juicier! Anyway, I’m predicting Argentina to end the hopes of the home nation.

Quarter Final Two: Winner 5 (Czech Republic) v Winner 6 (Spain)
The Czechs are the better team, but I’m sticking my neck out: Spain to win.

Quarter Final Three: Winner 3 (England) v Winner 4 (Netherlands)
Oh God… Heart vs head. If England play as well as they can do, then of course it’s possible. But I doubt it. I’m going for the Netherlands to win this one.

Quarter Final Four: Winner 7 (Brasil) v Winner 8 (Ukraine)
Brasil should simply be too good for Ukraine here.

The Semi Finals

Semi Final One: Winner QF1 (Argentina) v Winner QF2 (Spain)
Despite those lovely Liverpool players in Spain’s squad, it should be Argentina.

Semi Final Two: Winner QF3 (Netherlands) v Winner QF4 (Brasil)
I’m bored of seeing Brasil in the final, so fuck it: the Netherlands to win.

Final

Argentina v Netherlands
Your guess is as good as mine, really. I’d rather see the Netherlands win it, though.

So, that’s next summer: I can’t wait!
If you too have spent time since last night wondering what might be, and fancy sharing: the comments area is your place…

Written by Craig

December 10th, 2005 at 5:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

8 Responses to 'Man like permutations'

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  1. Are you going to go to the finals again this year?

    b.

    becki

    10 Dec 05 at 5:13 pm

  2. Well, I forgot to bother to apply for tickets when they went on sale like an idiot. But a friend of mine got a ticket for two games and he’ll not be in Berlin at that point (sadly for him, luckily for me). Those games have turned out to be Ukraine v Tunisia in the group stages and the Quarter Final One game, which could, realistically, be any of these teams: Germany/England/Sweden v Argentina/Netherlands/Côte d’Ivoire/México/Portugal.
    So, I could possibly be at an England game. That’d be great, cos it would like mean we’d have already beaten Germany, which would be a dream.

    Craig

    10 Dec 05 at 5:26 pm

  3. Well, apparently Ladbrokes have Holland at 10 to 1 so I might put a tenner on them now before they read your blog and change the stakes. Plus my gran is Dutch so I always root for them a little bit anyway…

    Anna

    10 Dec 05 at 6:25 pm

  4. Let’s hope Marco van Basten doesn’t read your blog Craig

    He’ll start to think he’s already won it and take the team out for a pint instead of training like mad!Talked to Boudewijns dad yesterday; the guy was crying over what had happened

    frans theunisz

    11 Dec 05 at 11:11 am

  5. For more than one reason, Frans. If I found out that he read it, every single blog entry would be, “Hey, did you know Marco van Basten reads this?”

    How did you come to be talking to Zenden senior?

    Craig

    11 Dec 05 at 11:25 am

  6. “old man” zenden lives in maastricht, and so do i. I ran in to him yesterday, so i asked him…

    He’s called Pierre Zenden, used to be a famous at judo. He owns a fitness studio / swimming pool in the town center. I learned to swim there!!!

    frans theunisz

    11 Dec 05 at 12:35 pm

  7. I admire your non-biased attitude, Craig, and sorry Frans, bit the first rule of international sport is: always rely on the arse-iness of the Dutch football team to undermine their skill

    Mark

    12 Dec 05 at 1:12 am

  8. Much as I’d like it, Dave, I can’t see England doing it. They play badly together too often for my liking. It’s shocking that we labour through the group stages, play out a tousand dull friendlies, then manage to wake up for a friendly against Argentina, and suddenly we’re gonna win the World Cup in everyone’s eyes…

    Craig

    12 Dec 05 at 9:07 am

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