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Fish's Arbitrary World Cup Predictions

There's no sporting event in the world I love anywhere near as much as the world cup. With my newly arrived Brazil, France and Russia jerseys and my itch to go out and kick a ball already increasing as the summer approaches, I'll no doubt watch and analyse every game possible.
Take Care

Group A // Hosts Brazil to deliver a solid performance and top the group. Mexico
only scraped through to the play-offs thanks to the USA coming from behind to
beat Panama and they lack big-name players, but their recent results have seen an
improvement and they?re unbeaten in 8 including games against the USA, Ecuador
and South Korea. Despite this I see a solid Croatian squad including Modric and
Mandukic coming out on top. // 1. Brazil 2. Croatia 3. Mexico 4. Cameroon
Nothing Was The Same

Group B // Spain may not be the force they were four years ago but I still see them
having the quality to top this tough group. Netherlands may have only dropped two
points in qualifying but most of their opposition was pretty weak, their recent
results have been mediocre (not to mention their showing in Euro 2012) and they?ve
dropped to #15 in the FIFA Rankings. Despite a weaker squad, I can see a Vidal &
Sanchez-powered Chile side taking the (relative) home advantage and nipping
second. // 1. Spain 2. Chile 3. Netherlands 4. Australia
Modal Soul

Group C // This group is pretty bad. Colombia are probably the weakest seeded
team in the tournament but even with star striker Falcao injured I can see them
dominating Group C. The Ivory Coast are relying on their aging stars (Drogba?s 36
and the squad?s average age is 29) so even with the likes of Yaya Touré and
Gervinho I think they could struggle. Japan?s side is solid, as are their previous
world cup performances, and Greece know how to jew themselves out of groups like
these. // 1. Colombia 2. Greece 3. Japan 4. Ivory Coast
4Dr. Dre

Group D // I can?t see any true world class teams here so the English media?s
assertion that Group D is the group of death is frankly hilarious. Still, Italy are the
best team here despite their high average age and I think England can just about
edge an ageing Uruguay team who aside from Cavani, Suarez and Godin offer little.
Uruguay had to qualify through the play-offs after conceding 25 goals in 16 games.
// 1. Italy 2. England 3. Uruguay 4. Costa Rica
5ASAP Ferg
Trap Lord

Group E // Off the back of an appalling 2010 campaign and a disappointing 2012
Euro tournament, France has turned its fortunes around. The team showed grit in
giving Spain a run for its money in qualifying and in coming back from a 2-0 first leg
deficit to win their play-off tie against Ukraine and the team?s finally regained a
sense of unity. With Ribéry in his prime and finally starting to play well for France,
rising stars such as Varane and Pogba and a solid first 11 including Sagna,
Koscielny, Cabaye, Valbuena and Benzema, France could well be dark horses.
Switzerland?s strong defence should help them comfortably through. // 1. France 2.
Switzerland 3. Ecuador 4. Honduras
6ASAP Rocky

Group F // This group writes itself. I?m excited to watch di Maria. // 1. Argentina 2.
Bosnia-Herzegovina 3. Nigeria 4. Iran
My Krazy Life

Group G // Probably the most exciting group but again, not a very tricky one to
predict. Germany?s attacking qualities will no doubt let them dominate their group as
always. Portugal have the quality to ease through with Cristiano Ronaldo at his
peak. The USA are solid and Ghana could provide challenging opposition but a
youthful side (with an average of just 24.9) will struggle. // 1. Germany 2. Portugal
3. Ghana 4. USA
8Rick Ross

Group H // Belgium are the official dark horses of the world cup, with most bookies
placing them as 5th favourites. Despite the squad?s quality on paper they?ve
sometimes struggled as a team however, so expect some good match ups with
Russia and South Korea. // 1. Belgium 2. Russia 3. South Korea 4. Algeria
9The Weeknd
House of Balloons

Round of 16 (1): Brazil v Chile // A good derby, but with an inevitable result. // FT:
10The Weeknd

Round of 16 (2): Colombia v England // There?s been much hype around this
Colombian side but they?re evidently not one of the favourites, so they seem like
the ideal fodder for 5 days of media hype before England inevitably get fucked by
Brazil in the quarter-finals. Colombia?s strengths are disproportionately in attack,
but with Falcao missing a hungry young England side could win on the counter
attack. // FT: 1-2 (aet)
11The Weeknd
Echoes of Silence

Round of 16 (3): France v Bosnia-Herzegovina // Having been watching France
regularly for the past two years I think their improvements have been sorely
underrated. // FT: 2-0
12The Weeknd
Kiss Land

Round of 16 (4): Germany v Russia // Capello favours a high tempo attacking
football, but Germany should undo the Russian squad with exactly that. // FT: 3-2
13Schoolboy Q

Round of 16 (5) Spain v Croatia // These two faced each other in Euro 2012 and I
expect the result to be pretty much the same. // FT: 1-0

Round of 16 (6) Italy v Greece // Yuck. // FT: 2-0

Round of 16 (7) Argentina v Switzerland // Argentina?s strong attack may be
frustrated by Switzerland?s robust defence and they?ll have to watch themselves on
the counter attack. Switzerland know how to compete with the big teams and this
is a potential upset, but I feel Argentina has a bigger part to play in this
tournament than fall at this hurdle. // FT: 0-0 (Argentina win on penalties).
Magna Carta... Holy Grail

Round of 16 (8) Belgium v Portugal // Belgium are technically more favoured to win
the competition, but I can see them having a relatively disappointing campaign. In
this game they?ll lack the spark of Ronaldo-infused Portugal side. // FT: 1-3
17Killer Mike
R.A.P. Music

Quarter Final (1) Brazil v England // This is where the party really gets started for
the hosts. // FT: 4-0

Quarter Final (2) France v Germany // This is a very tricky one to predict.
Germany?s squad is too good to go out at this stage but they have a tendency to
crumble and I know France have the quality to really challenge the big teams,
especially those with defensive weaknesses such as Germany?s. The idea of a
potential Brazil v France rematch of the 1998 final is also enticing but I?m going to
play this one conservatively and say France will bow out after a solid tournament.
// FT: 2-3 (aet)
19Mobb Deep
The Infamous

Quarter Final (3) Spain v Italy // Italy only ever seem to overperform or
underperform so this could be a good game. // FT: 2-1
20Hiss Tracts
Shortwave Nights

Quarter Final (4) Argentina v Portugal // This should be a great game. // FT: 4-2
21Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas...

Semi Final (1) Brazil v Germany // This story has already played itself out so many
times in the recent past. // FT: 2-0

Semi Final (2) Spain v Argentina // I think this is where Spanish domination ends.
Argentina may have a weaker defence and midfield on paper, but if the 2013
confederations cup taught as anything it?s that Spain are gonna get fucked up bad
by this terrifying South American attack. Di Maria to rule this game. // FT: 1-4

3rd Place Play Off // Germany v Spain // I think Germany are the stronger team and
they always seem to win these matches anyway. // FT: 2-2 (Germany win on
24DJ Shadow

Final // Brazil v Argentina // This could go either way. A huge South American derby
which should be a thrilling game, with the fiery home support on one side and
Argentina?s monster attack on the other but neither side exhibiting particularly solid
defences. This is Brazil?s tournament, but it could be Messi?s one shot at lifting the
world cup ever, let alone in South America. Before the confederations cup I
probably would?ve tipped Argentina to win. // FT: 4-3
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