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June 04, 2006

More World Cup warming up

At 10pm Greek time next Friday I'll be watching Poland vs Ecuador, the second game of the 2006 World Cup. Claire and I have already arranged to meet in town that night after she finishes work to watch the Germany - Costa Rica match, which kicks off the whole extravaganza at 7pm our time. Hania is a massive tourist destination for Germans and Americans as well as the British, so I think I'll make the effort to get into town for a couple of Germany and the USA's games, as well as the England ones.

At 10pm on the Friday night just gone though, it was more World Cup warm up action with a double header from NET - Italy versus Ukraine, and Germany versus Colombia, and then late on Saturday we also had SPain - Egypt. I have money on Germany and Ukraine topping their groups. Ukraine didn't inspire me during their 0-0 draw, but Germany got a morale boosting win against Colombia. I am, though, disappointed to report that even as a manager Jurgen Klinsmann does that rubbish sticky-out-straight-arms celebration when his team scores.

Oh, and having said the same thing about the Netherlands and Mexico the other day, if it sounds like I've got money on every team in the tournament, I should explain that I have backed eight teams to win their respective groups in a hideously complicated selection that will earn me a fortune should I get all 8 correct. Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Mexico, Czech Republic, Brazil, South Korea and the Ukraine are my chosen 8. I'm banking on England, Argentina, Portugal, Italy, France and Spain under-performing and finishing 2nd or 3rd in their groups. Which is a big ask.

Still, I reckon the fates will decree that since it is possible that England could meet Germany in the second round, they will. Depending on the toss of coin, it could end up (to the horror of the English tabloid press and their obsession with 1966 and all that) with Germany wearing their brand new red away kit, and England being in white. That surely makes them meeting a foregone conclusion?

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Banking on Spain underperforming... That's not a big ask!

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