2014 Football World Cup Preview – Part 3 – Penalty Shootout Agony

Getting ready for sleep deprivation mode?

Leading up to the World Cup (which vies with the Olympics as the best sporting event in the Universe), I will be previewing each team participating in the Brazilian extravaganza (in my own 4 part extravaganza). Last week I previewed teams ranked 17-24 (AKA those who may go better in the next World Cup, if they make it, that is). The week before I covered the mighty, mighty minnows (teams ranked 25-32). This week I’m covering teams ranked 9 – 16 (AKA those teams who are statistically likely to go down in a screaming heap of penalty shootout agony). Rankings are according to the current market odds. I will leave my predictions for part 4. The real surprise is that England is not here. It is statistically certain that England will go down in a screaming heap of penalty shootout agony (English fans nodding sadly), however, the bookies have been shortening England’s odds as we move closer to the World Cup. The English team is apparently more favoured than the Netherlands, Uruguay, Colombia and Portugal to make the quarter finals. Wow! That is a big call.

Firstly, a few words on another issue.

Probably one thing that should be brought up prior to the commencement of the tournament is the hemisphere conundrum – northern hemisphere teams generally win northern hemisphere world cups and vice versa. The only exceptions in the lengthy history of World Cups have been Brazil in Sweden in 1958, Brazil in Mexico in 1970, Argentina in Mexico in 1986, Brazil in the USA in 1994, Brazil in Japan in 2002 and Spain in South Africa in 2010. I think the rule should probably be restated as follows now that I look at the exceptions:

  1. Brazil can win anywhere.
  2. For the rest of the World, European teams win in Europe and South American teams win in South America and Central America.
  3. World Cups shouldn’t be played in temperatures over 500C or where the vuvuzela is a prominent instrument. Just saying.

This puts the South American teams in the box seat – Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia, in particular. Every country except Brazil will be playing at a neutral venue which actually levels the playing field in some respects. Climate will surely play a part and experts are predicting a very hot World Cup (not as hot as Qatar though, if the 2022 World Cup ends up being in Qatar, that is). Most of the other performance differences will be psychological. It will be interesting to see how Brazil handles the pressure of playing at home. I think culture must play a large part as well. I think if weather and culture are the two relevant factors then Spain and Italy should have an advantage as well, though Portugal will fall into the same boat.

On to the rankings.

16 Mexico

 

Mexico National Football Side - Photo by Articularnos.com - CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

Mexico National Football Side – Photo by Articularnos.com – CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

Odds

143.57

Squad

Goalkeepers: Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)

Defenders: Paul Aguilar (Club America), Andres Guardado (Bayer Leverkusen), Miguel Layun (Club America), Rafael Marquez (Leon), Hector Moreno (Espanyol), Diego Reyes (Porto), Francisco Javier Rodriguez (Club America), Carlos Salcido (Tigres)

Midfielders: Isaac Brizuela (Toluca), Marco Fabian (Cruz Azul), Hector Herrera (Porto), Juan Carlos Medina (Club America), Luis Montes (Leon), Carlos Pena (Leon), Jose Juan Vazquez (Leon)

Forwards: Giovani Dos Santos (Villarreal), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United), Raul Jimenez (Club America), Oribe Peralta (Santos), Alan Pulido (Tigres)

Coach: Miguel Herrera

The Big Kahuna

Javier Hernandez – The coveted but enigmatic striker may not even start in Brazil, however, the fortunes of Mexico often follow it’s most well known striker. He will be primed and ready to fire.

Interesting Fact

Mexico introduced chocolate, corn and chilies to the world. Mexico we salute you.

Prognosis (with a little help from the Periodic Table)

B – Boron – Boron is a metalloid, intermediate between metals and non-metals. It exists in many polymorphs (different crystal lattice structures), some more metallic than others. Metallic boron is extremely hard and has a very high melting point.

By now everyone has heard of Mexico’s incredible struggles in making the World Cup (and I’m not talking about its games against the All Whites). That doesn’t bode well for its matches in Brazil, however, like everyone it gets a clean slate and can make the most of it. Relying on solid defence and an effective midfield they come into the tournament with relatively solid recent form (a 1-0 loss to Bosnia-Herzegovina, 3-1 win over Ecuador and 3-0 win over Israel). Matched with Brazil (virtually unbeatable), Croatia (beatable but not easily) and Cameroon (beatable but who knows) they are favoured (narrowly) to emerge behind Brazil into the second round. That will most likely pit them against Spain or the Netherlands in the second round which will probably end their World Cup run but getting that far will be an achievement.

Footnote – Favourite Team Name

How can I go past Club America? I wonder if the one who wears the arm band is referred to as Captain America. One can only hope.

15 Switzerland

Odds

105.71

Squad

Goalkeepers: Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), Roman Buerki (Grasshopper), Yann Sommer (Basel)

Defenders: Johan Djourou (Hamburg), Michael Lang (Grasshopper), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Fabian Schaer (Basel), Philippe Senderos (Valencia), Steve von Bergen (Young Boys), Reto Ziegler (Sassuolo)

Midfielders: Tranquillo Barnetta (Eintracht Frankfurt), Valon Behrami (Napoli), Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli), Gelson Fernandes (Freiburg), Goekhan Inler (Napoli), Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich), Valentin Stocker (Basel)

Forwards: Josip Drmic (Nurnberg), Mario Gavranovic (Zurich), Admir Mehmedi (Freiburg), Haris Seferovic (Real Sociedad), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld

The Big Kahuna

Xherdan Shaqiri – Young attacking midfielder will be heavily relied on by the Swiss for attacking impetus during the tournament.

Interesting Fact

Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates of all industrialised nations. It also has one of the highest rates of cannabis use.

Prognosis (with a little help from the Periodic Table)

Si – Silicon – Silicon is a hard, relatively inert metalloid and in crystalline form is very brittle with a marked metallic lustre.

Traditionally a staid defensive outfit, Switzerland by virtue of an effective youth development programme which has leveraged off recent immigration to transform into an attacking (if unpredictable) unit could produce numerous upsets or in turn suffer the ignominy of an early exit. Given they are matched with equally unpredictable France, Ecuador and Honduras anything could happen. Their qualification for the World Cup was impressive but their recent form has been solid but unspectacular with wins over Peru (2-0) and Jamaica (1-0) as well as a draw with Croatia (2-2).

Footnote – Favourite Team Name

It couldn’t be anything other than Grasshopper. Not only is it a martial arts term of endearment and a cocktail.

14 Russia

Odds

95.00

Squad

Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Lodygin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Sergei Ryzhikov (Rubin Kazan)

Defenders: Vasily Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Georgy Shchennikov (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow), Alexei Kozlov (Dynamo Moscow), Andrei Yeshchenko (Anzhi Makhachkala), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Andrei Semyonov (Terek Grozny)

Midfielders: Igor Denisov (Dynamo Moscow), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Roman Shirokov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow), Viktor Faizulin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Oleg Shatov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Yuri Zhirkov (Dynamo Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Forwards: Alexei Ionov (Dynamo Moscow), Alexander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow), Maxim Kanunnikov (Amkar Perm), Aleksandr Kerzhakov (Zenit St. Petersburg)

Coach: Fabio Capello

The Big Kahuna

Aleksandr Kerzhakov – This prolific striker (all time leading goal scorer for Russia) will have to be on his game to ensure the defensively minded Russians progress to the second round.

Interesting Fact

In Russia, some bears have become so addicted to jet fuel that they sniff until passing out. It is on the internet so it must be true. Right?

Prognosis (with a little help from the Periodic Table)

N – Nitrogen – Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, diatomic and generally inert gas at standard temperature and pressure.

Russia will be cautiously optimistic in looking forward to the World Cup despite their coach selecting a side of entirely Russian based players. Joined with likely group winners Belgium by Korea and Algeria they will be favoured to progress to the second round on the back of their solid backfield provided they score enough goals to get the job done. That will most likely pit them against Germany in the second round which isn’t a good matchup for them. Given Fabio Capello was manager of the English team knocked out 4-1 by Germany in the last World Cup no doubt he will be feeling a sense of déjà vu as the tournament progresses.

Footnote – Favourite Team Name

I think Anzhi Makhachkala has a nice ring to it.

13 Chile

Odds

43.43

Squad

Goalkeepers: Claudio Bravo (Real Sociedad/ESP), Johnny Herrera (Universidad de Chile), Cristopher Toselli (Universidad Catolica)

Defenders: Gary Medel (Cardiff City/ENG), Jose Rojas (Universidad de Chile), Eugenio Mena (Santos/BRA), Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest/ENG)

Midfielders: Arturo Vidal (Juventus/ITA), Mauricio Isla (Juventus/ITA), Marcelo Diaz (Basel/SUI), Francisco Silva (Osasuna/ESP), Felipe Gutierrez (FC Twente/NED), Jose Pedro Fuenzalida (Colo Colo), Carlos Carmona (Atalanta/ITA), Jean Beausejour (Wigan/ENG), Charles Aranguiz (Internacional/BRA), Miiko Albornoz (Malmo/SWE)

Forwards: Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona/ESP), Eduardo Vargas (Valencia/ESP), Jorge Valdivia (Palmeiras/BRA), Mauricio Pinilla (Cagliari/ITA), Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo), Fabian Orellana (Celta Vigo/ESP)

Coach: Jorge Sampaoli

The Big Kahuna

Alexis Sanchez – The clinical striker from Barcelona will be a crucial cog in the impressive Chilean attack. La Roja certainly have other weapons in their arsenal, however, none as potent as Sanchez.

Interesting Fact

The oldest Mummy in the world is from Chile.

Prognosis (with a little help from the Periodic Table)

K – Potassium – Potassium is silvery-white, low melting, metal soft enough to be easily cut with a knife. It tarnishes rapidly in air, forming a dull oxide coating. Potassium burns with a lilac colored flame. It is extremely reactive, reacting violently with water, for example, to produce hydrogen gas and potassium hydroxide. Potassium is a very light metal (the second least dense metal after lithium) and would float on water if it were not so reactive.

Chile is a frenetic foe that no-one will look forward to playing. The fact that they are playing in a South American tournament will only make them more potent. They have drawn extremely difficult but winnable games against the Netherlands and Spain and will be at least competing for that second spot in the group with a win against Australia a necessity. They qualified third in the extremely competitive qualification stage in South America and followed that up with wins against Northern Ireland (2-0), Egypt (3-2), a famous win against an experimental England (2-0) late last year matched with a narrow loss to Germany (1-0) Sporting a devastating attack with more shortcomings at the back than the leading contenders for the Cup, it would be dangerous to write them off.

Footnote – Favourite Team Name

Colo Colo probably sounds more fun than it is. It still sounds fun. Kind of like an instrument one might find at Carnaval.

12 Netherlands

Odds

31.00

Squad

Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Tim Krul (Newcaste United), Michel Vorm (Swansea City)

Defenders: Daley Blind (Ajax), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Terence Kongolo (Feyenoord), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Joel Veltman (Ajax), Paul Verhaegh (FC Augsburg), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord)

Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Leroy Fer (Norwich City), Jonathan De Guzman (Swansea City), Nigel de Jong (AC Milan), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV Eindhoven)

Forwards: Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kiev), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)

Coach: Louis Van Gaal

The Big Kahuna

Wesley Sneijder – The underrated heart of the Dutch midfield, Sneijder is the key that can unlock the tightest defence. While Robben and van Persie rightly receive most of the limelight when it comes to the Oranje, Sneijder will be the true catalyst to success for the Netherlands.

Interesting Fact

The Dutch have the lowest incidence of lactose intolerance of any country. It is also the largest exporter of cheese in the world. Makes sense.

Prognosis (with a little help from the Periodic Table)

Ra – Radium – Radium is a silvery-white metal. It is highly radioactive and its decay product, radon gas, is also radioactive. One result of radium’s intense radioactivity is that the metal and its compounds glow in the dark.

The Netherlands are the kings of heartbreak having come within a whisker on three occasions of winning everything. They again enter this competition brimming with potential and are genuine threats to go deep into the event and possibly win their first title. With a rock solid defence and rumoured to be considering a 5-3-2 formation which would enhance their counter-attacking ability, the Oranje were given no favours by FIFA when they were drawn in the Group of Death along with dangerous foes Spain and Chile and even more devastating Australia (slight exaggeration).With recent wins against Ghana (1-0), Wales (2-0), a draw with Ecuador (1-1), a loss to France (2-0) and a flawless qualification program albeit against kind opposition, the Netherlands will be hopeful of a good performance in Brazil but as always it will be fascinating waiting to see whether the Dutch can again convert potential into performance.

Footnote – Favourite Team Name

Newcastle United – I’ve always had a soft spot for the Geordies.

11 Columbia

Odds

29.57

Squad

Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Santa Fe)

Defenders: Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Mario Alberto Yepes (Atalanta), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Pablo Armero (West Ham), Eder Alvarez Balanta (River Plate), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo)

Midfielders: Alex Mejia (Atletico Nacional), Freddy Guarin (Inter), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Morelia), Carlos Sanchez (Elche), Juan Quintero (Porto), Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina), James Rodriguez (Monaco)

Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate), Jackson Martinez (Porto), Vctor Ibarbo (Cagliari), Adrian Ramos (Herta Berlin)

Coach: Jose Pekerman

The Big Kahuna

James Rodriguez – This attacking midfielder is crucial to Colombia and his creative abilities stoke the Colombian attacking fire. He will be critical to Colombian chances come kick-off time.

Interesting Fact

Colombia has the most species of bird in the world.

Prognosis (with a little help from the Periodic Table)

Mg – Magnesium – Magnesium is a silvery-white, low density, reasonably strong metal that tarnishes in air to form a thin oxide coating. Magnesium and its alloys have very good corrosion resistance and good high temperature mechanical properties. The metal reacts with water to produce hydrogen gas. When it burns in air, magnesium produces a brilliant white light.

Favourites to take out Group C ahead of the dangerous Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan (note a decided absence of any minnow), Colombia’s preparation has been thrown into turmoil with the recent withdrawal of their talismanic striker Radamel Falcao. That being said, it would be dangerous to resign the Colombians to also rans. They are a very dangerous side that should still qualify for the second round based on the remaining talent in the squad, their familiarity with the climatic conditions and an impressive attacking mentality although an aging backfield has proved vulnerable to counter-attack on occasion.

Footnote – Favourite Team Name

This is a toss up between River Plate (is that a seafood dish?) or Herta Berlin. I’m going with Herta Berlin.

10 Uruguay

Odds

29.00

Squad

Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama), Rodrigo Munoz (Libertad)

Defenders: Maximiliano Pereira (Benfica), Diego Lugano (West Bromwich Albion), Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez (both Atletico Madrid), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool), Martin Caceres (Juventus), Jorge Fucile (Porto)

Midfielders: lvaro Gonzalez (Lazio), Alvaro Pereira (Sao Paulo), Walter Gargano (Parma), Egidio Arevalo Rios (Morelia), Diego Perez (Bologna), Cristian Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid), Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), Nicolas Lodeiro (Botafogo)

Forwards: Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Edinson Cavani (Paris St Germain), Abel Hernandez (Palermo), Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka), Christian Stuani (Espanyol)

Coach: Oscar Tabarez

The Big Kahuna

Luis Suarez – The leading goal scorer in the EPL this year, this attacking juggernaut is coming off surgery and leads an impressive collection of forward and midfield talent for Uruguay. Prolific in so many ways, providing his recent knee operation does not dull his turn of speed, look for this potent attacking weapon to light up the World Cup.

Interesting Fact

Uruguay has one of the highest literacy rates in the world at almost 98%.

Prognosis (with a little help from the Periodic Table)

Ca – Calcium – Calcium is reactive and, for a metal, soft. With a bit of effort, it can be cut with a sharp knife. In contact with air, calcium develops a mixed oxide and nitride coating, which protects it from further corrosion. Calcium reacts easily with water and acids and the metal burns brightly in air, forming mainly the nitride.

Absolutely stacked with attacking brilliance and playing close to home in South America, Uruguay are favoured to escape the heavily weighted Group D, despite the presence of Italy, England and Costa Rica. Like so many teams in this World Cup their attacking brilliance is balanced with an ageing and vulnerable defence. With impressive performances in big tournaments in years gone by, the vulnerabilities shown in the most recent Confederations Cup will be fresh in the mind of those considering their approach to the World Cup. With Tabarez open to tactical adjustments which keep the opposition guessing, they could find themselves playing at the money end of the competition but could just as easily flame out early.

Footnote – Favourite Team Name

Vasco da Gama – No reason. Just like the sound of it. Oh and he is an explorer from memory (no assistance from Google, well maybe to check). Vasco da Gama vs the Columbus Crew. That is the match up the people want to see.

9 Portugal

Odds

28.86

Squad

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting), Beto (Sevilla/ESP), Eduardo (Braga)

Defenders: Andre Almeida (Benfica), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce/TUR), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid/ESP), Joao Pereira (Valencia/ESP), Neto (Zenith St-Petersburg/RUS), Pepe (Real Madrid/ESP), Ricardo Costa (Valencia/ESP)

Midfielders: Joao Moutinho (Monaco/FRA), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce/TUR), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting)

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/ESP), Eder (Braga), Helder Postiga (Lazio/ITA), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas/TUR), Nani (Manchester United/ENG), Rafa (Braga), Varela (FC Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg/GER)

Coach: Paulo Bento

The Big Kahuna

CR7 – Part iconic brand, part male model and attacking extraordinaire, Cristiano Ronaldo is the fulcrum of the Portuguese attack. Not completely punchless without him, Portugal have none-the-less come to heavily rely on Ronaldo and he is inextricably linked to their success.

Interesting Fact

The Portuguese eat more fish and shellfish per capita than any other country in the world.

Prognosis (with a little help from the Periodic Table)

Fe – Iron – Iron is a ductile, gray, relatively soft metal and is a moderately good conductor of heat and electricity.

Portugal are sneaky good. Not as hallowed as the Golden Generation (Luis Figo et al) they have cobbled together a decent squad which will be the sentimental favourites behind Brazil to win amongst locals. Entrenched in one of the true Groups of Death they have drawn Germany, Ghana and USA but will still be favoured to progress to at least the second round though their margin for error is minimal. Strong at the back (though slightly suspect in goal), they are also strong in the midfield and up front though most of their attack is focused through CR7. Their form during qualification was extremely mixed and they were forced to lift mightily to eliminate Sweden to make the World Cup. Since then they’ve played relatively few times with a 0-0 draw with Greece and a 5-1 win against Cameroon. A recent tendinosis scare for Ronaldo doesn’t augur well but provided he isn’t unreasonably hampered, Portugal should make some real noise in this World Cup.

Footnote – Favourite Team Name

Wolfsburg – I’m partial to wolves. I don’t know why.

What was sweeter than Jelly Bread?

  • The Panthers were very sharp on Friday night.
  • Tyrone Peachey. He doesn’t look particularly big or particularly fast or particularly strong but he does play particularly well. He had big wraps coming up from the lower grades but you always take those with a grain of salt, especially regarding Holden Cup form, but he is becoming the real deal, if he isn’t already.
  • The Broncos steamrolled Manly. It was true that they were missing DCE, Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart but that usually doesn’t bother the Sea Eagles. Brisbane hit the ground running and didn’t let up the whole game. Their forwards were particularly strong.
  • The PNG Hunters rolled South big time. They are currently in 3rd position on the ladder. Go the Hunters!
  • Darren Nicholls. Nicholls was a promising half in the Rabbitohs feeder system but has moved north looking for opportunities given the logjam in front of him at the Bunnies. Watched him in the Burleigh vs Norths game. He looked very effective. Wouldn’t look out of place beside Ben Hunt in the halves.

What wasn’t?

  • The Josh Reynolds spear tackle becoming a state vs state argument. I thought we were beyond that now (especially after the spear tackle on Alex McKinnon) but apparently we aren’t. Class action coming. It is only a matter of time and the NRL doesn’t have bottomless pockets like Big Tobacco either.

Other random thoughts 

  • For those locked down to the free-to-air TV schedule it is Rugby time. The Southern Hemisphere behemoths are tuning up with games against understrength teams from England (vs All Blacks), France (vs the Wallabies), Wales (vs the Springboks commencing next week) and Ireland (vs Los Pumas). One sided battles to follow.
  • BTW someone should tell SANZAR what getting one match a week ‘free to air’ in Australia has done for the A-League. Oh and while they are at it they should tell them that conferences only work well in America. 

Bill James Award 

Josh Mansour – Run Metres – 259m, Tries – 2, Try Assists –  0, Tackle Breaks – 12, Tackles – 8, Offloads – 1, Line Breaks – 0, Errors – 0 and Awesome Beards – 1. 

Tips for Round 13 

Home teams first

Sea Eagles vs Bulldogs – Sea Eagles (Hey remember earlier in the season when I said home teams were winning a disproportionate amount of games this year. Hasn’t changed. Plus DCE and Kieran Foran are back together again. Plus the Sea Eagles rarely (if ever) lose back to back games)

Eels vs Cowboys – Cowboys (Can’t believe it took me one game to break that unbreakable rule. Why? I think JT will still be smarting from his State of Origin performance plus the Eels will miss Nathan Peats more than they think. This will be oh so close though. Eels have been unbeaten at Pirtek Stadium this year. I’ll move on before I change my mind)

Titans vs Panthers – Titans (Going back to my home team bias again. Titans should have Albert Kelly and Greg Bird back this week. Panthers are greatly improved this year but the Titans are so underrated they are going to keep sneaking up on sides this year)

Dragons vs Sharks – Dragons (Benji to use extra reps in training to have a bounce back game. Gareth Widdop is due a big one too. Also the Sharks are in disarray this year. Oh and they don’t have Paul Gallen or Andrew Fifita so there’s that)

Rabbitohs vs Warriors – Rabbitohs (This is being played in Perth so no home ground advantage but Souths are playing better and match up well against the improving Warriors plus Isaac Luke is back)

Knights vs Tigers – Knights (Too tight to call but the Knights have many of their players back this week and are at home)

Storm vs Roosters – Roosters (Storm are goooooone. Well almost)

Raiders vs Broncos – Broncos (Broncos too good. Raiders not)

Last week – 5/6 

Season so far – 52/91. 

Question for you

Why do Northern Hemisphere teams find it difficult to win in South America?

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode on Thursday, 12 June 2014 titled ‘World Cup Preview – Part 4 – Here to the bitter end’

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