by Jason Green of Predictem.com
As of May 6th the FIFA rankings for the teams of this group are France 10th, Mexico 17th, Uruguay 18th, and South Africa 90th.
France are the major favorites to win Group A, but the 2006 finalists looked far from solid in their World Cup qualifying and only made it to South Africa after a non-call on Thierry Henry’s hand ball in their playoff match against Ireland. Oh well, that is all in the past and they made it and still have a very solid squad with such players as Henry, Franck Ribery, and Nicolas Anelka. However, while the French have a good team and a dynamic offense they have a major concern in their central defense.
Mexico is at +350 to win Group A and this is their 5th World Cup in a row, but even though they tend to make it out of their group they always seem to lose in the first round of the playoffs. Mexico has a good defense and a good midfield, but their lack of firepower on offense is their main weakness. Rafael Mrquez of Barcelona in the anchor of their defense, but their strikers, especially Guillermo Franco of West Ham, have to put the ball in the net for them to progress.
FIFA has Uruguay ranked 18th in the world, but they barely qualified for South Africa after having to beat Costa Rica in a playoff. They are a hard working team and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Forln and FC Porto’s Cristian Rodrguez can be a nightmare for opposing defenses, but their main weakness is their inconsistency. They need to be solid and on their game, especially when they play France and Mexico. In qualifying Uruguay missed many chances to score and they cannot do that this summer.
South Africa is the major long shot in the group and while they do have the home field advantage, can they score? Their defense is solid, especially their goalie play, but their offense is far from strong and they have not scored in their last 2 matches. The whole team has really had problems finding the back of the net since last June’s Confederation Cup, where they played well. Blackburn’s Benni McCarthy and FC Twente’s Bernard Parker have to provide the home nation with some offense or they may not give the fans much to cheer about in their own backyard.
If all plays out according to plan the winner of the match between Mexico and Uruguay will be the big one, as the winner will likely advance and the loser will be heading home.
Here are the betting odds to win the Group Stage A at Sportsbook as of May 6th.
South Africa +600
Where are you betting on World Cup games? Does your bookie offer you the best odds? Probably not, because if you’re not betting at 5Dimes, you’re not getting the best odds on World Cup soccer matches!