World Cup Group A preview

GROUP A

South Africa

Mexico

Uruguay

France

 

South Africa, in their first tournament as World Cup hosts, have been given a tricky draw with Mexico, Uruguay and France placed in Group A with them. The hosts will play Mexico in the opening match of the tournament before facing tricky tests against the under achieving French and underrated Uruguay. France, in particular, will be delighted with their draw after missing out on being seeded. With South Africa as the weakest seeded team, the French’s struggle to qualify has fortunately not given them a tough group.

Uruguay will be quietly confident about progressing through a group where the majority of the focus will be on France and South Africa. The two time World Cup winners are capable of holding their own against the majority of teams in the world today and they will fancy their chances against all three opening opponents. Mexico will count themselves lucky to be at the 2010 World Cup after a disastrous start to qualifying left them with an uphill task to qualify. However, a great second half of the campaign saw them eventually make the draw in South Africa. The opening match against the hosts will be a tough challenge as they will have to cope with a partizan crowd. The result in that very first match may well decide whether or not Mexico will finish in the top two.

TEAM – South Africa

MANAGER – Carlos Alberto Parreira

QUALIFED – Hosts

STAR PLAYER - Steven Pienaar

VERDICT – Group exit

TEAM – Mexico

MANAGER - Javier Aguirre

QUALIFIED – 2nd in CONCACAF

STAR PLAYER – Rafael Marquez

VERDICT – Qualified

TEAM – Uruguay

MANAGER – Oscar Tabarez

QUALIFIED – 5th in South America – via play off

STAR PLAYER – Diego Forlan

VERDICT – Group exit

TEAM – France

MANAGER – Raymond Domenech

QUALIFIED - 2nd in European – via Play Offs

STAR PLAYER – Franck Ribery

VERDICT – Qualified

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