Tuesday, March 22, 2011

INFTH International Predictions

Spain vs Czech Republic- In one of the more compelling international fixtures coming up this week, Vicente Del Bosque's Spain side take on a Czech team looking to bounce back from their failure to qualify for South Africa 2010.

Spain currently sit top of Group I with the maximum total of nine points, three more than the Czechs. However, if the team recently shorn of legends like Pavel Nedved and Jan Koller can steal a win in Spain, then the group would be thrown wide open, with even third placed Scotland being allowed back into the equation.

One interesting subplot to this match will be David Villa's attempt to finally move alone as the top scorer in the history of the Spanish national team. Villa equaled Raul's record with a penalty against Scotland, but has since gone without a goal in national team colors. Adding to the pressure will be the Spaniard's recent failure to score for league leaders Barcelona, a run that he has called "unlucky."

Prediction: 3-1

Wales vs England- If this match had been played a month ago then I think that without doubt England would have been heavy favorites to come out on top. However, with Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale back in the side, Gary Speed's Wales side looks a lot more formidable.

Currently, England sit in second place behind Montenegro in their group, but one imagines that that will change in the near future, with Montenegro unlikely to keep up their fine qualifier form. Also, this match will mark the return of the captain's armband to the forearm of the shamed John Terry, who was stripped of the captaincy last year after an alleged affair with the ex-partner of friend and teammate Wayne Bridge.

Earlier today John Terry admitted that he was not "everyone's cup of tea" and with many an onlooker feeling sorry for now former captain Rio Ferdinand, Terry will know that he has a lot to prove with his performance during this game.

Prediction: 0-2

USA vs Argentina- A couple years ago Argentina and the US played out a drab, nil all draw at the old Giant's Stadium, but the organizers of Saturday's marquee friendly game will hope that this time around a more exciting game is forthcoming.

It looks as though Argentina will be bringing all the big guns to New York, and Bob Bradley will see this match as an ideal opportunity for his troops to test themselves against superstars of the likes of Lionel Messi, Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Pastore.

Watching from the sidelines will be hordes of anxious MLS clubs, praying that their star players avoid injuries in a fixture that will unfortunately disrupt the start to the 2011 MLS season, leaving many clubs with thin rosters for this weekend's round of fixtures. The New York Red Bulls have been particularly badly hit, with last week's hero Juan Agudelo and last year's Rookie of the Year, Tim Ream, both called up for national duty.

Prediction: 2-2

Scotland vs Brazil- Let's face it, the practically inept Tartan Army have no right even to tie the bootlaces of the Brazilian national team, but as we all know international friendlies are an opportunity for teams to take on sides that they wouldn't normally face (in this case due to the consistent absence of a certain side from World Cup action).

Lately, Brazil seem to have found a second home in Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, with the London arena a convenient meeting point for Brazil's stars, most of whom ply their trade in Europe. It will certainly be interesting to see how the likes of Scott Brown fare against classy Brazilians of the ilk of Robinho and Ramires, though doubtless the highlight of the event for any neutrals attending the game, will be the nostalgia filled reminiscences of the large, drunk man, in the kilt two rows down, reminding all who will listen to him about Archie Gemmill, dancing through the Holland defense at will in '78.

Prediction: 0-2

No comments:

Post a Comment