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Only minutes ahead of game time – Group G and H today:

Brazil v Portugal – If there’s a winner in this game, they go through as the first seed from this group. Because both teams are essentially through (see below) this game could end up being a dud. Brazil will be without Kaka after his red card in the last game, and the question in the Portugal camp must be ‘has Ronaldo finally arrived for his nation’s squad?’. I am hopeful that Portugal will be playing for top seed and the street cred of playing the Brazilians hard, and I am hopeful that Brazil will stand up to the challenge. Time will tell.

FINAL Brazil 2 Portugal 1
FLEAROY see above

Cote D’Ivoire v N. Korea

Ivory Coast can advance if A) Portugal loses, and B) they somehow make up the goal differential gap, which if Portugal does not score is at 9. Can Ivory Coast win 9-0? I suppose anything is possible, but that’s truly improbable. N. Korea is not that bad a side, but Ivory Coast will be going for it all.

FINAL Cote D’Ivoire 4 N Korea 1
FLEAROY Cote D’Ivoire 6 N. Korea 0

Group H picks

Spain v Chile

Chile needs a draw or a victory against Spain to take top spot in Group H. A loss to Spain can put Chile in jeopardy of elimination, if the Swiss can beat the Hondurans and make up the goal difference which is at 2 goals. Spain has come in to the tourney as one of the favorites, and have hardly lived up to the billing. The Spanish coaching staff better have the team convinced that a dominating performance is required moving into the playoffs. Chile would be happy to draw as that will put them through in first place, avoiding a playoff match against Brazil. Until recently Spain had the habit of coming up short despite their talent, and the way they’re playing that’s a possibility today, but I see them squeaking through with a victory.

FINAL Spain 1 Chile 0
FLEAROY see above

Switzerland v Honduras

In order for Honduras to qualify they need a Chilean win and their own huge win against the Swiss (Spain has Honduras at 4 goals in differential heading into the games). After a rather shocking upset against the Spaniards in their opener the Swiss looked lacklustre against Chile. They certainly have the means to handle Honduras, especially since the central American squad will have to open it up if they stand any chance of moving on. Unless Chile upsets Spain Switzerland will have to win big to make up the goal differential. I think they’ll win, but whether or not the score is large enough is yet to be seen.

FINAL Switzerland 2 Honduras 0
FLEAROY see above

Are you scared Roy? Two of four scores identical!

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