Group stage deciders: Matches to watch and matches to miss

Shariq Gilani June 22, 2010
In case you didn’t know, the last games for each group will be played simultaneously. Therefore, unless you have your two TV’s set up side by side you need to make a decision on which matches to concentrate on and which matches to occasionally flip to.

Group A

Match to Watch: Uruguay v Mexico (initially at least)

Unfortunately for South Africa, if Uruguay and Mexico draw they both go through. There is a tradition of this in the World Cup. In 1982, West Germany and Austria essentially had a training session for 80 minutes to ensure they both qualified at the expense of Algeria.

The one saving grace is that, both sides have the incentive that if they win they will avoid Argentina in the next round. If they look to attack then watch this game, but if it looks like both sides are playing for the draw then change the channel to see just how abysmally the French are playing.

Group B:

Match to Watch: Nigeria v South Korea

Nigeria haven’t looked great, but might have beaten Greece if they didn’t have a player stupidly sent off. On the other hand South Korea looked great against Greece but not against Argentina.

Again, if this match doesn’t look like it’s going great, switch over to the Argentina game and enjoy watching Messi – Maradona has said it would be a sin to rest him and while that may be going over the top, you can never go wrong watching Messi.

Group C

Match to Watch: England v Slovenia and USA v Algeria

England looked decent against USA but awful against Algeria – they should still go through, but they can’t take anything for granted. If they go out it will be a huge shock, but maybe some of the hype around how awesome the Premiership is might go down.

On the other hand, Algeria will actually need to attack against the USA. Again, America should win but their defence has looked shaky. As both sides need to win the game, keep an eye on this as it could be a classic.

Group D

Match to Watch: Germany v Ghana

Germany looked great against Australia but then were undermined by Klose’s sending off against Serbia. This match should be an indication of just how good they actually are. Ideally both sides go through, but if Serbia beats Australia then they are automatically through, leaving Germany needing a win.

Combined with England not winning, this could leave us with a classic round of 16 matches like USA v Ghana and Serbia v Slovenia. I’m sure the TV broadcasters would be delighted by that.

Originally published on
Shariq Gilani An avid sports fan who blogs on The Offside Trap as el Gaffer.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


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