by Jason Green of Predictem.com
As of May 10th the FIFA rankings for Group E are Holland 4th, Cameroon 19th, Denmark 35th, and Japan 45th.
Holland is the big favorite to win Group E and the main reason is because of their offense. The Dutch had no problems qualifying going undefeated in group play and they do not lack big stars on the pitch. Robin van Persie of Arsenal and Arjen Robben of Bayern Munich lead the strikers and they have one of the best offensive minded midfielders in the world In Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder. Their defense is a big concern, but if their dynamic offense can score they have a good chance to go far and they should make it out of group play.
Cameroon is the highest-ranking team from Africa at 19th and they have one of the best players in the world in Samuel Eto’o of Inter Milan. They have had trouble in the last couple years against elite teams, but their offense is a good one and they have great G in Idriss Carlos Kameni of Espanyol. They are an aging squad, but one that has a lot of talent and can score. Stephane M’bia of Marseille is a key player in the midfield, as he has to play good defense and set up the strikers. Eto’o is a god in Africa and the African crowd will cheer his presence on, big time.
NOT ALL SOCCER BOOKMAKERS ARE CREATED EQUAL! DITCH
YOUR OVERPRICED BOOKIE AND START PLAYING WHERE YOU CAN GET THE BEST ODDS
ON THE NET TODAY: 5DIMES
Denmark is a bit of a wild card, as they looked great in qualifying finishing ahead of both Sweden and 2006 semifinalist Portugal, but will the Danes be able to score? They do have Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal, but he has injury concerns and if he is not 100% in South Africa the Danes will have to rely on their defense. Denmark has great midfielders and G Thomas Sorensen of Stoke City and their matches against Japan and Cameroon are vital, as it is likely that they will not beat the Dutch.
Japan is a big underdog in the group and even though they are the highest ranked FIFA team from Asia it is a long shot that they will make it out of group play. Shunsuke Nakamura of Espanyol and Shinji Okazaki of Shimizu S-Pulse have to set the pace on offense and even though the Japanese have a hard working and solid defense their strikers are not their strength. Japan had a Cinderella run when they hosted the World Cup in 2002 and will have to repeat on that impressive performance to make it to the playoffs in South Africa.
Since Holland is so strong the race in Group E may be for second place. The Cameroon vs. Denmark match may be the big one, as each of those teams should beat Japan, but lose to Holland.
Here are the odds to win the Group Stage E at Sportsbook.com as of May 10th: