World Cup Mock Draw

December 3, 2009

So the World Cup draw is less than 24 hours away. Players, coaches, celebrities are in Cape Town, South Africa preparing for what will take place tomorrow. We at International Football Talk have been having a Mock Draw marathon this week. With all the possible procedures FIFA may use. FIFA are using the same procedure they used in 2006 for the draw. However, Netherlands will be seeded and France will be not as FIFA decided to use the world rankings for seeding purposes instead of a formula of world rankings and past World Cup performance. With that said I did a complete draw this time around. Including group positioning with selecting A2, A3, A4, B2, B3, B4, etc. to determing when and where games will be played. I will layout the entire schedule below if FIFA were to draw this exactly. All times are local South African time. South Africa is 6 hours ahead of eastern time during the summer. So matches on the east coast would be 7:30a.m., 10a.m., and 2:30p.m. From there you can figure out game times depending on where you live.

Pot A – South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain
Pot B – Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, New Zeland, Honduras, Mexico, United States
Pot C – Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
Pot D – Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland

Group A
– South Africa
– Denmark
– Honduras
– Paraguay

South Africa v. Denmark Friday, June 11th 4p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City
Honduras v. Paraguay Friday. June 11th 8:30p.m. @Cape Town

South Africa v. Honduras Wednesday, June 16th 8:30p.m. @Pretoria
Paraguay v. Denmark Thursday, June 17th 1:30p.m. @Polokwane

Denmark v. Honduras Tuesday, June 22nd 4p.m. @Runstenberg
Paraguay v. South Africa Tuesday, June 22nd 4p.m. @Bloemfontein

Group B
– Argentina
– Cameroon
– Greece
– New Zealand

Argentina v. Cameroon Saturday, June 12th 1:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park
Greece v. New Zealand Saturday, June 12th 4p.m. @Port Elizabeth

Argentina v. Greece Saturday, June 17th 4p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City
New Zealand v. Cameroon Saturday, June 17th 8:30p.m. @Bloemfontein

Cameroon v. Greece Tuesday, June 22nd 8:30p.m. @Polokwane
New Zealand v. Argentina Tuesday, June 22nd 8:30p.m. @Durban

Group C
– Spain
– Slovakia
– North Korea
– Chile

Spain v. Slovakia Saturday, June 12th 8:30p.m. @Rustenberg
North Kora v. Chile Sunday, June 13th 1:30p.m. @Polokwane

Spain v. North Korea Friday, June 18th 4p.m. @Cape Town
Chile v. Slovakia Friday, June 18th 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park

Slovakia v. North Korea Wednesday, June 23rd 4p.m. @Pretoria
Chile v. Spain Wednesday, June 23rd 4p.m. @Port Elizabeth

Group D
– Netherlands
– Ivory Coast
– Portugal
– United States

Netherlands v. Ivory Coast Sunday, June 13th 4p.m. @Durban
Portugal v. Unites States Sunday, June 13th 8:30p.m. @Pretoria

Netherlands v. Portugal Friday, June 18th 1:30p.m.@Port Elizabeth
United States v. Ivory Coast Saturday, June 19th 1:30p.m. @Rustenberg

Ivory Coast v. Portugal Wednesday, June 23rd 8:30p.m. @Nelspruit
United States v. Netherlands Wednesday, June 23rd 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City

Group E
– England
– Nigeria
– Australia
– Switzerland

England v. Nigeria Monday, June 14th 1:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City
Australia v. Switzerland Monday, June 14th 4p.m. @Bloemfontein

England v. Australia Saturday, June 19th 4p.m. @Durban
Switzerland, v. Nigeria Satuday, June 19th 8:30p.m. @Pretoria

Nigeria v. Australia Thursday, June 24th 8:30p.m. @Rustenberg
Switzerland v. England Thursday, June 24th 8:30p.m. @Cape Town

Group F
– Italy
– Uruguay
– France
– South Korea

Italy v. Uruguay Monday, June 14th 8:30p.m. @Cape Town
France v. South Korea Tuesday, June 15th 8:30p.m. @Rustenberg

Italy v. France Sunday, June 20th 1:30p.m. @Nelspruit
South Korea v. Uruguay Sunday, June 20th 4p.m. @Bloemfontein

Uruguay v. France Thursday, June 24th 4p.m. @Polokwane
South Korea v. Italy Thursday, June 24th 4p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park

Group G
– Germany
– Slovenia
– Mexico
– Ghana

Germany v. Slovenia Tuesday, June 15th 4p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park
Mexico v. Ghana Tuesday, June 15th 8:30p.m. @Port Elizabeth

Germany v. Mexico Sunday, June 20th 8:30p.m. @Johannesbrg, Soccer City
Ghana v. Slovenia Monday, June 21st 1:30p.m. @Cape Town

Slovenia v. Mexico Friday, June 25th 4p.m. @Nelspruit
Ghana v. Germany Friday, June 15th 4p.m. @Durban

Group H
– Brazil
– Serbia
– Algeria
– Japan

Brazil v. Serbia Wednesday, June 16th 1:30p.m. @Durban
Algeria v. Japan Wednesday, June 16th 4p.m. @Nelspruit

Brazil v. Algeria Monday, June 21st 4p.m. @Port Elizabeth
Japan v. Serbia Monday, June 21st 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park

Serbia v. Algeria Friday, June 25th 8:30p.m. @Bloemfontein
Japan v. Brazil Friday, 25th 8:30p.m. @Pretoria

Round of 16 (in bracket order)
A1 v. B2 Saturday, June 26th 4p.m. @Port Elizabeth
C1 v. D2 Saturday, June 26th 8:30p.m. @Rustenberg
E1 v. F2 Monday, June 28th 4p.m. @Durban
G1 v. H2 Monday, June 28th 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park
B1 v. A2 Sunday, June 27th 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City
D1 v. C2 Sunday, June 27th 4p.m. @Bloemfontein
F1 v. E2 Tuesday, June 29th 4p.m. @Pretoria
H1 v. G2 Tuesday, June 29th 8:30p.. @Cape Town

Quarterfinals (in bracket order)
A1/B2 v. C1/D2 Friday, July 2nd 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City
E1/F2 v. G1/H2 Friday, July 2nd 4p.m. @Port Elizabeth
B1/A2 v. D1/C2 Saturday, July 3rd 4p.m. @Cape Town
F1/E2 v. H1/G2 Saturday, July 3rd 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Ellis Park

Semifinals
July 2nd winners Tuesday, July 6th 8:30p.m. @Cape Town
July 3rd winners Wednesay, July 7th 8:30p.m. @Durban

3rd place playoff
Semifinals losers Saturday, July 10th 8:30p.m. @Port Elizabeth

World Cup Final
Semifinal winners Sunday, July 11th 8:30p.m. @Johannesburg, Soccer City

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World Cup Qualifying UEFA Playoff Draw Preview

October 19, 2009

The main event in the footballing world this coming Monday, 19 October takes place at Home of FIFA in Zurich, with the spotlight focused on the eight European nations who have claimed places in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying play-offs. The draw for the final eliminators, to be played on a home-and-away basis on 14 and 18 November, will be held at 14:00 local time, with France, Portugal, Russia and Greece entering it as the seeded teams.

Fans, media representatives and football lovers around the globe can stay abreast of the very latest developments and follow the draw ceremony as it happens, by tuning in to our FIFA.com live stream here at the world governing body’s official website. The eight remaining nations have battled their way through to the play-offs, and will now go head-to-head for the four remaining spots at the 2010 finals:

France, runners-up at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, are determined to book their ticket to South Africa via the alternative route of the play-offs as they strive for a 13th appearance at the game’s showpiece event. The French were forced to settle for second place in European Group 7 behind a very impressive Serbia. UEFA EURO 2008 semi-finalists Russia are the second of the continent’s heavyweights going into the hat on Monday. The nine-time FIFA World Cup finals contenders, whose best placing was fourth at the 1966 tournament in England, missed out on top spot in Group 4 due to home and away defeats against eventual winners Germany.

The Republic of Ireland have made three appearances at the FIFA World Cup finals, most recently at the 2002 edition in Korea/Japan. With Italian coaching legend Giovanni Trapattoni at the helm, the team spearheaded by John O’Shea of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane are quietly confident of securing a spot in South Africa. Bosnia Herzegovina were the surprise package in Group 5, as they comfortably held off Turkey and Belgium to finish runners-up behind seemingly invincible European champions Spain. The Bosnians owe their place among the last eight hopefuls to their potent forward line, featuring free-scoring pair Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic, ably supported by the playmaking guile of Zvjezdan Misimovic. They are also the only one of the eight group runners-up who have yet to appear at the FIFA World Cup finals.

The most experienced candidates in terms of play-offs for a major tournament are Ukraine. The east Europeans and their star name Andriy Shevchenko came up short at the same stage in 1997 (to Croatia) and 2001 (to Germany) in FIFA World Cup qualifying, and in 1999 (to Slovenia) in the battle for places at the EURO, before finally booking a place at the global showdown in 2006. FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal team-mates picked up form after a poor start to qualifying, ending up second to Denmark in their group. The Portuguese, who finished fourth at the 2006 finals and third back in 1966, now go into the eliminators searching for what would be only their fifth appearance at the world’s greatest sporting event.

EURO 2004 winners Greece and their veteran German boss Otto Rehhagel also find themselves needing to negotiate the play-offs after coming off second-best to Switzerland in Group 2. A ticket to South Africa would provide the Greeks with only their second tilt at the world crown. Their sole previous appearance was at the 1994 event in the USA. Finally, Slovenia complete the field for the play-off fray in mid-November. Striker Milivoje Novakovic and Co are also chasing their second finals appearance after sensationally qualifying for the 2002 tournament in Korea/Japan with a play-off triumph over Romania.

watch the draw here


Argentina v Uruguay Preview

October 14, 2009

Lionel Messi is convinced Argentina will beat Uruguay in Montevideo and book the final automatic South American berth in next summer’s World Cup finals.

The Charruas and the Albicelestes will go head to head to decide who clinches qualification and who will progress to a play-off against a CONCACAF nation – or worse, miss out altogether.

Diego Maradona’s Argentina will play in South Africa if they win or draw, barring an extraordinary performance by Ecuador at already-qualified Chile, while defeat could eliminate them should Ecuador win. Uruguay Must win to overhaul Argentina.

Messi said: ”We’ll play at the World Cup. We are risking everything in the last qualifier. I trust in my national team. We’ll do our best to clinch a win there, even though it won’t be an easy game.”

Maradona has already announced that Gonzalo Higuain and Martin Palermo, who scored the goals in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Peru, will not both start, with the Real Madrid striker looking the more likely to start.

Maradona said: ”Palermo and Higuain together? No. It is one of them. One or the other. They will play together only if we need to score to win.

”Our chances of progressing to the World Cup are intact. We must go to Uruguay to fight for our qualification. We’ll do that with pride.”

Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez, meanwhile, will send his side out with a do-or-die attitude.

”Winning is what matters,” he said. ”We’ll try to win. We respect Argentina, but we need the three points.”

Tabarez will try to keep his mind off the clash between Chile and Ecuador in Santiago, which could yet decide their fate should they fail to beat Argentina.

”We’ll not be thinking of what is going on in Chile,” he said. ”Chile will try to win to give joy to their supporters at home. We must win. A draw is the same than losing. We must win.”

Diego Forlan, who scored a penalty winner in added time in the crucial 2-1 win in Ecuador on Saturday, admitted he is shocked that Argentina have not already qualified.

”It is surprising, but this is the result of a number of matches in which they didn’t get the result they expected,” he said. ”Argentina are one of the best teams in the world, but there are no advantages on the field.

”It is the match I’ve always dreamt of. I want to play at the World Cup and it is up to us.”

Watch Argentina v Uruguay live for free here

courtesy of espnsoccernet.com


USA to play Denmark

October 13, 2009

Well it looks like those friendlies for the World Cup are being planned.  The Danish Football Association has announced that they will be taking on the United States on November 18th in Aarhus, Denmark at NRGi Park.

The U.S. mens national team will likely schedule a friendly against another European side on November 14th.  Which is the other fixture date in November.  They have already scheduled a friendly to play Netherlands in Eindhoven on March 3, 2010.


World Cup Predictor

October 13, 2009

AFRICA

Group A (Current Standings)
Cameroon 10
Gabon 9
Togo 5
Morocco 3

MAR draw CMR
TGO beat GAB

FINAL STANDINGS
Cameroon 11
Gabon 9
Togo 8
Morocco 4

Group B (Current Standings)
Tunisia 11
Nigeria 9
Mozambique 4
Kenya 3

KEN lose NGA
MOZ lose TUN

FINAL STANDINGS
Tunisia 14
Nigeria 12
Mozambique 4
Kenya 3

Group C (Current Standings)
Algeria 13
Egypt 10
Zambia 4
Rwanda 1

EGY beat ALG
RWA draw ZAM

FINAL STANDINGS
Algeria 13 * tied on all tiebreakers
Egypt 13 * either playoff or drawing of lots
Zambia 5
Rwanda 2

I would vote for a playoff being played somewhere in Libya on a neutral site with Egypt winning giving them the WC birth.

Group D (Current Standings)
Ghana 12
Mali 8
Benin 7
Sudan 1

SUD lose BEN
GHA beat MLI

FINAL STANDINGS
Ghana 15
Benin 10
Mali 8
Sudan 1

Group E (Current Standings)
Ivory Coast 13
Burkina Faso 9
Malawi 4
Guinea 3

BF beat MLW
CIV beat GUI

FINAL STANDINGS
Ivory Coast 16
Burkina Faso 12
Malawi 4
Guinea 3

ASIA

Australia, Japan, Korea Republic, Korea DPR (already qualified)

PLAYOFF

1st leg @ Bahrain 0-0
2nd leg @ Saudi Arabia 2-2

Bahrain wins 2-2 on away goals

AFC/OFC PLAYOFF

1st leg @ Bahrain 0-0
2nd leg @ New Zealand 1-1

Bahrain wins 1-1 on away goals

South America

CONMEBOL (Current Standings)
Brazil 33
Paraguay 33
Chile 30
Argentina 25
Uruguay 24
Ecuador 23
Venezuela 21
Colombia 20
Bolivia 15
Peru 10

URU draw ARG
PER beat BOL
PAR beat COL
CHI draw ECU
BRA beat VEN

FINAL STANDINGS
Brazil 36
Paraguay 36
Chile 31
Argentina 26
Uruguay 25
Ecuador 24
Venezuela 21
Colombia 20
Bolivia 15
Peru 13


CONCACAF

Hexagonal (Current Standings)
USA 19
Mexico 18
Costa Rica 15
Honduras 13
El Salvador 8
Trinidad & Tobago 5

TRI lose MEX
ESL draw HON
USA beat CRC

FINAL STANDINGS
USA 22
Mexico 21
Costa Rica 15
Honduras 14
El Salvador 9
Trinidad & Tobago 5

CONMEBOL/CONCACAF PLAYOFF

1st leg @ Honduras 2-1
2nd leg @ Uruguay 2-1 (URU wins on PK’s)

Uruguay wins 3-3 aet on PK’s 4-3

Europe

UEFA Group 1 (Current Standings)
Denmark 21
Portugal 16
Sweden 15
Hungary 13
Albania 7
Malta 1

SWE beat ALB
POR beat MAL
DEN beat HUN

FINAL STANDINGS
Denmark 24
Portugal 19
Sweden 18
Hungary 13
Albania 7
Malta 1

UEFA Group 2 (Current Standings)
Switzerland 20
Greece 17
Israel 15
Latvia 14
Luxembourg 5
Moldova 3

LAT beat MOL
GRE beat LUX
SUI draw ISR

FINAL STANDINGS
Switzerland 21
Greece 20
Latvia 17
Israel 16
Luxembourg 5
Moldova 3

UEFA Group 3 (Current Standings)
Slovakia 19
Slovenia 17
Czech Republic 15
Northern Ireland 14
Poland 11
San Marino 0

CZE beat NIR
POL draw SVK
SMR lose SLV

FINAL STANDINGS
Slovenia 20 * better goal difference
Slovakia 20
Czech Republic 18
Northern Ireland 14
Poland 12
San Marino 0

UEFA Group 4 (Current Standings)
Germany 25
Russia 21
Finland 17
Wales 9
Liechtenstein 2
Azerbaijan 1

GER beat FIN
AZE lose RUS
LIE lose WAL

FINAL STANDINGS
Germany 28
Russia 24
Finland 17
Wales 12
Liechtenstein 5
Azerbaijan 1

UEFA Group 5 (Current Standings)
Spain 27
Bosnia and Herzegovina 19
Turkey 12
Belgium 10
Estonia 5
Armenia 4

BIH lose ESP
EST draw BEL
TUR beat ARM

FINAL STANDINGS
Spain 30
Bosnia and Herzegovina 19
Turkey 15
Belgium 11
Estonia 6
Armenia 1

UEFA Group 6 (Current Standings)
England 24
Ukraine 18
Croatia 17
Belarus 13
Kazakhstan 6
Andorra 0

ENG beat BLR
KAZ lose CRO
AND lose UKR

FINAL STANDINGS
England 27
Ukraine 21
Croatia 20
Belarus 13
Kazakhstan 6
Andorra 0

UEFA Group 7 (Current Standings)
Serbia 22
France 18
Austria 14
Lithuania 9
Romania 9
Faroe Islands 4

FRA beat AUT
LTH draw SER
ROU beat FI

FINAL STANDINGS
Serbia 23
France 21
Austria 14
Romania 12
Lithuania 10
Faroe Islands 4

UEFA Group 8 (Current Standings)
Italy 21
Ireland 17
Bulgaria 11
Cyprus 9
Montenegro 8
Georgia 3

ITA beat CYP
IRE beat MCG
BUL beat GEO

FINAL STANDINGS
Italy 24
Ireland 20
Bulgaria 14
Cyprus 9
Montenegro 8
Georgia 3

UEFA Group 9 (Current & Final Standings)
Netherlands 24
Norway 10
Scotland 10
Macedonia 7
Iceland 5

–Norway–(eliminated as lowest second place team)

UEFA PLAYOFFS

1st leg @ Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-1
2nd leg @ Russia 2-0

Russia agg 3-1

1st leg @ Slovakia 0-1
2nd leg @ France 1-0

France agg 2-0

1st leg @ Republic or Ireland 1-0
2nd leg @ Greece 1-1

Republic of Ireland agg 2-1

1st leg @ Ukraine 1-1
2nd leg @ Portugal 2-0

Portugal agg 3-1

—***2010 FIFA World Cup Field***—

AFRICA
– South Africa (Host)
– Cameroon
– Tunisia
– Egypt
– Ghana
– Ivory Coast

ASIA
– Australia
– Japan
– Korea Republic
– Korea DPR
– Bahrain

SOUTH AMERICA
– Brazil
– Paraguay
– Chile
– Argentina
– Uruguay

CONCACAF
– United States
– Mexico
– Costa Rica

EUROPE
– Denmark
– Switzerland
– Slovenia
– Germany
– Spain
– England
– Serbia
– Italy
– Netherlands
– Russia
– France
– Republic of Ireland
– Portugal