Tuesday, February 8, 2011

INFTH International Predictions

Denmark vs England- In what will be England's first match of 2011, Capello will be looking for bright performances from the likes of Jack Wilshire and Theo Walcott. In the past week or so Capello has made it known to the world what he thinks of England's two most talented young players, dubbing Wilshire "the future of the English national team" and admitting that he made a mistake in not bringing Theo Walcott to the World Cup. Denmark, who currently sit third in their Euro qualification group, will be looking for inspiration from Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, as he faces off against Red Devils teammate Wayne Rooney.

Prediction: 1-2

Germany vs Italy- In a rematch of the 2006 World Cup semi final, a rejuvenated Italian side will look to star pairing Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini to provide them the edge they will need to beat Joachim Lowe's  youthful German national side. The German back four will certainly have a tough job on their hands trying to keep out the Italian attacking duo of Cassono and Pazzini and the former Sampdoria strikers will surely be looking to exploit the anything but speedy German center back pairing of Mertesacker and Friedrich. On the other side of the coin Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, who will be deployed at left back for this game, will face the challenge of shutting out the top scorer from last year's South African World Cup, Thomas Muller.

Prediction: 2-2

Argentina vs Portugal- In a game wreathed with intriguing subplots, a post Maradona Argentina will take on Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in the Swiss city of Geneva. All eyes will surely be fixed on how Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo match up against each other, as the two players, notorious for under performing in international matches, do battle in London.

Prediction: 3-2

France vs Brazil- French fans will hope for a repeat of their country's greatest sporting moment, as they watch Les Bleus take on Brazil in a rematch of the 1998 World Cup final. If Nasri, Benzema and Malouda can summon up any of the magic produced by the likes of Zidane, Viera and Deschamps  13 years ago than they will be in with a decent chance against the 2014 hosts.

Prediction: 1-1

Spain vs Colombia- Fans and pundits alike are beginning to run out of superlatives to describe the Spanish national team, and in particular the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Villa. It was the stellar contributions of these three national icons that propelled Spain to World Cup success, and it will be these three again who lead the Spanish charge against their South American visitors. With Puyol sidelined by injury, Del Bosque will have an opportunity to test out a new look central defensive pairing of Pique and Albiol, one that will be crucial if Puyol continues to be riddled by injuries. Also, returning to the squad for the first time since September, will be Sevilla winger Jesus Navas, who was recently linked with a big money move to Arsenal and will be keen to prove his worth to any would be suitors.

Prediction: 5-1

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