Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Surprise Selections (and other news) from Group D, the Group of Death -- Germany, Ghana, Serbia, and Australia

This may be the toughest group to call in South Africa because it is, in fact, the toughest: All four of these teams would qualify from most of the other groups. But that's why they call it the group of death.

So, it's on to recent developments with the teams, in an order of finish that could well be reversed:


There's a good argument that the most successful team in the history of the World Cup hasn't been Brazil but Germany. Winners three times, this team has never failed to get to the quarterfinals over the last seven tourneys and has finished third and second respectively at the last two.

But if there's ever going to be a tournament where the Germans stumble, it's turning out that this could be the one. The group is difficult and even if the Germans do emerge winning the group, they could face both Argentina and Spain on the road to another possible final. Captain and midfielder Michael Ballack was injured earlier this month at Chelsea and will miss the proceedings. The Germans are down to their third-string keeper (who is still admittedly miles better than anything England has to offer), after the first-string choice, Robert Enke, tragically committed suicide last autumn and the second-string choice, Rene Adler, got injured in the spring.

Even Bayern Munich's success at getting to the Champions League final will probably hurt this team. As we've pointed out before, European club success in a country actually hurts the national team because it makes it likelier that many of its players will be bushed by the time they get to South Africa.

For more, go here:

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