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World Cup Draw


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My initial impressions of the UEFA groups.

 

Teams that got favorable draws:

Spain - depending on which Turkey team shows up, Group E could be a blowout

Czech Republic - Poland is too inconsistent to threaten them, nobody else is talented enough

Italy - Should qualify with ease over Bulgaria and Ireland

 

Teams that got unlucky draws:

Finland - looked like an up-and-comer after just missing in Euro qualifying, but will be hard-pressed to get by Russia and Germany

Northern Ireland - see above, replace "Russia and Germany" with "the Czechs and Poland"

 

Most wide-open groups

Group B - could see Greece, Israel, or Switzerland all winning this one

Group G - Group of death? France, Romania, Serbia, and Austria all drawn together

Group I - Dutch will be favored, but Scotland and Norway could both take advantage of any slips

 

Home nations, lots of travel miles:

England has to travel to Croatia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan

Northern Ireland has to travel to the Czech Rep., Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia

Wales has to travel to Russia, Finland, and Azerbaijan

Only Scotland got a good draw travel-wise, with only one team from Eastern Europe in their group (Macedonia)

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The draw could have been alot worse, out of the Pot A teams croatia is one of the more favourable, but it will still be a tough test. They are a good young team now and will only improve by the time we meet them again, i think the eduardo will have vastly improved by this time as well as he should be an established name in the prem by then.

I think that Ukraine will be a tricky place to visit but not necessarily a hugely difficult game. Alot of their players from the world cup squad will have fallen away, can't see Sheva still cutting it by then.

 

The big thing will be who is managing us and who is in the team. Hopefully carson/foster/green will be ready to make the step up to international level and hopefully lampards england chances will be limited. I think a big thing will be who we play upfront, probably partnering rooney. I'm not sure at all which of a current batch of young english stikers will improve enough to make any sort of impact on the international stage. Walcott/ Vaughn/ Derbyshire/ Agbonlahor????

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You know, there seems to be this myth about Lampard in an England shirt. A lot of people have short memories when you consider the goals he scored in the WC 2006 qualifying. Statistically, he has more goals and assists than Gerrard even though he has played for England for three years less. I mean, considering how well "Captain fantastic" played against Croatia last week, I don't see why he is still immune from criticism.

 

As for the draw...

 

Group 1

 

Portugal

Sweden

Denmark

Hungary

Albania

Malta

 

 

Group 2

 

Greece

Israel

Switzerland

Moldova

Latvia

Luxembourg

 

 

Group 3

 

Czech Republic

Poland

Northern Ireland

Slovakia

Slovenia

San Marino

 

 

Group 4

 

Germany

Russia

Finland

Wales

Azerbaijan

Liechtenstein

 

 

Group 5

 

Spain

Turkey

Belgium

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Armenia

Estonia

 

 

Group 6

 

Croatia

England

Ukraine

Belarus

Kazakhstan

Andorra

 

 

Group 7

 

France

Romania

Serbia

Lithuania

Austria

Faroe Islands

 

 

Group 8

 

Italy

Bulgaria

Republic of Ireland

Cyprus

Georgia

Montenegro

 

 

Group 9

 

Holland

Scotland

Norway

Macedonia

Iceland

 

I've gotta say that England got lucky when you consider that groups 1, 3, 7 and 9 look like car crashes waiting to happen.

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I just think that Lamps doesn't contribute enough to the team, overall, he pops up with the odd goal but does very little else. By the time we get to 2010 world cup he will be 32. We need to blood in a new midfield. Don't see why we can't have him coming of the bench. We have seemed afraid to leave big names on the bench, i would like older big names to be impact players.

 

With Gerrard, we all will have dimmed views of him becasue of who he plays for, and he didn't have a good game against croatia (who did) but he still contributed more than lamps, at the next world cup he will be 30. Think he will still be starting then, but it will probably be his last staring role in an england shirt.

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I really don't look as Gerrard as a Liverpool player, but rather as a Premiership player and then when I compare him to another Premiership player - Frank Lampard - I see Lampard as being the better of the two right now. I think Gerrard has the potential to be better than Lampard but he is too inconsistent and hasn't played in a fixed position enough to be there just yet.

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