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Which 'outsider' will be the team to watch..?


Lermon

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Ie. which team may surprise.

Here's a few candidates:

Ivory Coast- being managed by Sven and with great players like Drogba, the two Toures, and Kalou etc..

Serbia- topped their WCQ group ahead of France, beat Romania 5-0 in the last match, and has a certain rock from the ManUtd defence of Vidic.

Greece- can never rule out after their shock European 2004 win, and still managed by Otto Rehhagel.

Algeria- now this is a small chance. But they qualified ahead of Egypt in the WCQ, they beat Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations, and they got the final of the Africa cup of nations. Not to mention this is their continent. Very tough group but still a chance to surprise.

USA- everyone discounts them not really being a football nation. But, in the confederations cup surprised a full strength Spain squad, Italy, and Egypt. Got to the final and were beaten by Brazil 3-2. Couple of notable players of O Donovan and Dempsey.

Any nominations of your own? I'm not sure about how the South American teams will do- Chile, Paraguay in particular, and also Slovenia- who beat a strong Russian side on the way to WCQ, and maybe pumped by their sort of fanatic fans.

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I like Chile, but have an unlucky draw. I reckon they'll come 2nd in there group and play Brazil in the 2nd round and probably lose.

Mexico/Uruguay have a good chance of finishing above France in first place, if they do they'll make the quarters at least

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Ivory Coast for me, likes of Drogba & Kalou in attack, there's goals in there. And with Keita supporting from the wings the supply is there.

Also got a very solid midfield and defence, with Yaya Toure and Zokora holding the fort in midfield, they'll be tough to break down and of course the likes of Toure, Boka, Eboue & Demel in there, they have some talented players.

Only thing that lets them down for me is their keeper.

South Africa also one to watch, being the hosts, and the USA are looking a good side.

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US were pretty shocking in their first 2 games of the confed cup. Though you can't knock the Spain result. I guess it depends on which team turns up.

I really don't see the Ivory Coast hype. If they had a decent group then maybe but they don't. Especialy looking at what they did in the ACON this year.

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I agree on some of the teams already mentioned: Serbia, Ivory Coast and Uruguay.

Serbia have a very strong defence and midfield, however slightly weak in attack and goal. If Krasic and Stankovic have a good competition I reckon they'll go far.

Ivory Coast of course have fantastic players, but their results in African Cup of Nations were dissapointing. With a new coach it could go either way. On paper they have a tough group, but considering Portugals form under Queiroz they just might snatch 2nd and make a surprise in the knock-outs.

Uruguay have some solid defenders, a good goalkeeper and an attack of Suarez and Forlan, which could be a heck of a partnership despite their relatively poor form in the qualifiers. Imo their midfield is only decent and lacks a bit of creativity, although if Lodeiro gets up to speed, it'll be an interesting team to follow.

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I would say the Ivory Coast, but they've got a horrible group - in which, even if they do qualify they would most problem be playing Spain. I'd probably say Serbia for the reasons above, football is as strong as it's ever been in Serbia and despite being a strong team there's little to lose for a country which doesn't yet have a glorious footballing history.

I don't think I'll jump on the USA bandwagon - for sure, they are stronger than ever before but right now while expected to qualifying from their group, won't be a "team to watch" IMO.

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Although I don't reckon Serbia will get close to winning it, it's tempting to put a bet on them to win it at 66-1. They having got much in terms of attacking prowess however they have a great defence and a good midfield so they have a decent chance of at least getting out of the group.

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They lost today 0-1 against a Paraguayan weakened team, which is not very encouraging. But I hope they do get some surprising results, like they did in 1966.

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Traditionally the Danish are some tightly-packed unit with some quality players beraft of the celebrity status of footballing starlets. Probably they'll reach the knock-out round and give Brazil a proper fight there like in 1998.

Good chance Serbia might get away with something from their game against Germany, but whilst it isn't 2006 anymore, team problems and all, as non-independent Serbia-Montenegro they topped a qualifying group with Spain in 2005 and conceded a single goal in ten games along that way. And then remember what happened during the actual Cup... It's kind of like with the Polish national team recently, often doing well when they qualify, but utterly disappointing when they show up at final tournaments. It's also the opposite to what happened to the Netherlands after EURO 08 qualifiying, where the team that pushed aside World Cup finalists France and Italy with ease and goals a plenty struggled to score a single goal in both qualifying matches against Luxembourg.

International teams are different. Tournaments are the only time they ever get a proper preparation and quality time together.

Curious about the North Korean team as well, even if their chances to advance look grim. And I dig the team USA away kit - not so sure about the mini-hype regarding the actual team though at all.

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They lost today 0-1 against a Paraguayan weakened team, which is not very encouraging. But I hope they do get some surprising results, like they did in 1966.

Sounds like they defended solidly as a unit though. I can imagine them getting organised and possibly frustrating teams, shame their group is so tough but if they hold Portugal to a 0-0 it'll be funny

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Why Japan ?

They, like Cameroon, are in a group which is rather open. I know Holland are in it but it's one of the more open groups, and with a surprise top spot they face Paraguay/Slovakia (presumably) in the second round, which again, is one of the easier available ties.

I like Cameroon's chances more than Japan but when looking at the question you have to consider the draw.

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They, like Cameroon, are in a group which is rather open. I know Holland are in it but it's one of the more open groups, and with a surprise top spot they face Paraguay/Slovakia (presumably) in the second round, which again, is one of the easier available ties.

I like Cameroon's chances more than Japan but when looking at the question you have to consider the draw.

Interesting point about the group, but I still can't see them progressing past the group. We (Serbia) beat them 3-0 in a friendly where our team was based from our domestic players (only 3 of which are in the provisional squad) and their team was pretty much was what it will be like at the WC with a couple of changes maybe

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Don't be silly Gaga.

That's like saying Chelsea, Arsenal and Real are outsiders for the CL but Porto aren't.

Club football is very very different to international football...team composition changes every season with varying degree's of extreme make-overs but changes are made seasonally regardless. It is a certainty.

The composition of international teams stays relatively the same for a much longer period. Plenty of players get to go to 2-3 World Cups during their careers...so I think it is very fair to make the measurement over 10 year period don't you think?

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Are you seriously suggesting that Greece should be considered one of the favourites?

No. What I am saying is it's a bit silly calling Greece outsiders when Argentina, Holland and England have won **** all for decades and yet get tagged contenders but yet a team like Greece is called an outsider like Euro 2004 never happened. ;)

Also in my opinion Greece has really improved as a footballing nation since winning...the current England team is worse then the 2002, 2006 team. I would say it's the same case with Holland atm...and Argentina only look decent contenders because of Messi and his game changing ability.

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No. What I am saying is it's a bit silly calling Greece outsiders when Argentina, Holland and England have won **** all for decades and yet get tagged contenders but yet a team like Greece is called an outsider like Euro 2004 never happened. ;)

Also in my opinion Greece has really improved as a footballing nation since winning...the current England team is worse then the 2002, 2006 team. I would say it's the same case with Holland atm...and Argentina only look decent contenders because of Messi and his game changing ability.

Yep, Messi definitely the only matchwinner in the Argentina team.

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No. What I am saying is it's a bit silly calling Greece outsiders when Argentina, Holland and England have won **** all for decades and yet get tagged contenders but yet a team like Greece is called an outsider like Euro 2004 never happened. ;)

Also in my opinion Greece has really improved as a footballing nation since winning...the current England team is worse then the 2002, 2006 team. I would say it's the same case with Holland atm...and Argentina only look decent contenders because of Messi and his game changing ability.

The difference is that Argentina, England and Holland are "big teams" that always fight for titles (even if they don't win them), while Greece normally barely qualify for tournaments.

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North Korea ;) They have targeted themselves to get to the QFs, after all :eek:

Like the Japanese manager mentioned they target a SF place as a minimum :D and was backed up by Honda, who said it is a realistic target.

The difference is that Argentina, England and Holland are "big teams" that always fight for titles (even if they don't win them), while Greece normally barely qualify for tournaments.

That is our problem, we always (especially the home based fans) think we can have a shot at the title (or SF the least) but we only did that on 6 occasions (EURO76, WC 74, WC78, EURO88, EURO92, WC98, EURO2000 & EURO2004) out of a possible 16 appearances (8 Euro & 8 EC (not counting the WC10 participations) or, when we actually qualified for a tournament), that equals 37,5% of getting into the last 4, from then it is more depending on luck (bans, injuries, form, refs etc) and it can go either way. And 6 out 31 in total EURO and WC combined, also for tournament we didn't qualify for), that equals 19.4%.

For me personally we are outsiders at most with a good chance to make it to the QF.

EDIT: seeing those % it isn't that bad after all, we just don't win enough SF games.

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it would be nice for the US to do well, but I can't help the nagging feeling that the injuries we've had to key players will lead us to not living up to the potential seen in the confederations cup.

Onyewu hasn't played a competitive match for about 8-9 months and davies is still out - those were two pretty important pieces to our success in the confed cup

On the other hand, we'll have had experience with the vuvuzelas :cool:

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Like the Japanese manager mentioned they target a SF place as a minimum :D and was backed up by Honda, who said it is a realistic target.

That is our problem, we always (especially the home based fans) think we can have a shot at the title (or SF the least) but we only did that on 6 occasions (EURO76, WC 74, WC78, EURO88, EURO92, WC98, EURO2000 & EURO2004) out of a possible 16 appearances (8 Euro & 8 EC (not counting the WC10 participations) or, when we actually qualified for a tournament), that equals 37,5% of getting into the last 4, from then it is more depending on luck (bans, injuries, form, refs etc) and it can go either way. And 6 out 31 in total EURO and WC combined, also for tournament we didn't qualify for), that equals 19.4%.

For me personally we are outsiders at most with a good chance to make it to the QF.

EDIT: seeing those % it isn't that bad after all, we just don't win enough SF games.

6 good tournaments in 16 is hardly that bad, and it's way better than what Greece have done, although Greece won the EC2004.

6/31 is less impressive, but from an foreign point of view, Dutch football didn't exist before 1970 (when Feyenoord won the European Cup).

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6 good tournaments in 16 is hardly that bad, and it's way better than what Greece have done, although Greece won the EC2004.

6/31 is less impressive, but from an foreign point of view, Dutch football didn't exist before 1970 (when Feyenoord won the European Cup).

6/16 isn't that bad, especially since we did win one trophy (EURO 88), but based on trophies we are equal to Greece.

6/31 is not good but WC30, WC50 & WC54 and EURO 60 we didn't even play the qualifications so that would mean 6/27, which is a bit better and yeah, before the early 70's it wasn't much, it chanced when Feyenoord beat Celtic in 1970, then Dutch football took off (also because of Rinus Michels).

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With all due respect to our southern friends of non-FYROM Macedonian descent but: Greece, outsider? Get out of here. During one single tournament they've proven that you actually can win a short competition by playing ultra-defensive counter. Whilst I don't begrudge them that, it was a fairy tale come true, the chances of an old Soviet satellite landing in middle circle during the WC final this year are greater than any Greeks being there at that time.

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i realy think england can do it this year. Shrek is in flying fantastic form and could singlefootedly ;) win it for them!

oh cant wait to see shrek lift the golden boot get on at 16-1! lol ;) spain is main threat but if torres is injurd.... damn you Henry ireland not at world cup again sob sob :(

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Greece isn't an outsider because they've won a competition :D Well Japan have won two in the last decade. And don't forget England's Tournoi triumph.

Oh dear...:D

Funny how 3 of the 4 teams who competed in Tournoi went on to win successive World Cups...

England to make it 4/4?:eek:

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I think people will be surprised by Serbia purely because they're a new country and seem to have no reputation/expectation. When I've actually shown my friends their players, qualifying etc they all say 'huh, didn't realise they were good'.

I'm personally looking forward to seeing Chile, although they've had so much hype about their style of play that it could be a let down on the big stage. Fingers crossed though!

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