Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Luchametric World Cup Handicapping: Our Upset? Paraguay Over the Azzurri

By MJD and El Luchador

All eyes at Nordecke Luchador are on Gooch's knee, Donovan's mental stability, and the back four (who would have thought at this point we'd be worry about our defense and not our strikers?).  But in fervid and besotted anticipation of South Africa 2010 we offer our meager advice for several opening matches at this year's world cup.

All US fans of the beautiful game look to Saturday's match against England with bowel-shaking anticipation.  We firmly believe the US is being given short shift in this match.  Best odds have the US at a mere 13% chance of a win. This is abject nonsense.  We set this match at a  solid 50% England win; 25% US win; 25% draw.  But, we advise American punters to keep their hands in their pockets.  A US win is just not a good bet--but we absolutely do not count our Yanks out.  Further, English confidence is misplaced.  They are overlooking a team filled with solid professional talent well-seasoned in Europe's top leagues.  And Buddle, Gomez, and Findlay have demonstrated that North American soccer can no longer be discounted out-of-hand

We like Paraguay over Italy as our upset.  We looked closely at Denmark over Holland and Uruguay over France, but we think that France's talent is being overlooked by a world press hungry for stories and that the Dutch without Robben are still one of the top five teams in the world. Still, we think these will be great matches to watch.

Finally, we can't help but conclude that the German machine will roll over the Aussies (Oi!) and that Argentina will win handily over Nigeria in spite of Maradona's abject freaking lunacy.  Lastly, we see Cameroon perhaps falling behind Japan early but coming back to win pulling away.

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