by Jason Green of Predictem.com
As of May 20th the FIFA rankings for Group G are Brazil 1st, Portugal 3rd, Ivory Coast 27th, North Korea 106th
Brazil is the top-ranked team in the world, has the best odds to win Group G, and the second best odds to win the World Cup. Oh yeah, they are also stacked and are the only team that has won the World Cup 5 times. While they are the favorite to win Group G they are in the Group of Death and making it to the playoffs will be far from easy. Kaka of Real Madrid is one of the best attacking and assist midfielders in the world and the Brazilian defense has a couple of great attacking players in Dani Alves of Barcelona and Maicon of Inter Milan. The D is also legit as well anchored by Inter Milan G Julio Cesar. Brazil tends to have trouble against teams that simply stack their defenses to thwart the offense, which many teams will do against them. In an interesting fact Brazil is 8-0 all time when playing in Africa.
Portugal was the semifinalist in Germany in 2006 and even though they did not have an easy time in qualifying for the World Cup this time around they are still the third ranked team in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best goal scorers in the world the strength of Portugal is their defense. Bruno Alves and Ricardo Carvalho anchor a solid back line and are very good at starting a counter-attack. The strikers are the main weakness of the Portuguese so they will look for offense from the counter-attack and their midfielders.
Ivory Coast is known as the Elephants and with the size of the egos on the team the nickname seems dead on. They have one of the best offenses in the world led by the most popular player from Africa in Didier Drogba of Chelsea. There is no lack of offense, as the Elephants feature the players of Salomon Kalou, Gervinho, Boubacar Sanogo, Aruna Dindane, and Amara Diane. Kolo Toure of Manchester City is the leader of the team and he has to make sure the Elephants play a team game this summer. In the African World Cup qualifying process several in-team fights broke out and Ivory Coast will need team chemistry, especially since they are in such a tough group.
North Korea is a big long shot in Group G and they are the lowest ranked FIFA team in the World Cup. They have not played in the World Cup since 1966 and even though they have a good defense only giving up 7 goals in 16 qualifying matches they have many weaknesses. They do not have a great offense and they have very few players that have big-match international experience.
Here are the odds to win the Group G at Sportsbook as of May 20th:
Ivory Coast +400
North Korea +10000