Friday, May 22, 2009
South America World Cup Qualifying - The Road to South Africa 2010
With 384 days to go until the World Cup kicks off, and only a few weeks before the next round of Qualifying matches it is high time for an update. In South America there are only 6 matches left, meaning that two thirds of the campaign is already behind us. Which ever 'Guay' you slice it there is some exciting football ahead. South American teams qualify through one table which operates like a ten team league. The top four teams qualify for South Africa and the fifth team enters a playoff against the fourth place CONCACAF side. Paraguay are leading group at the moment with Brazil, Chile, and Argentina occupying the rest of the automatic places. Uruguay currently have the playoff place. If you are interested the complete table can be found here. There are a lot of interesting matches remaining such as Argentina - Brazil or any team at Bolivia. Brazil have quite a difficult run in compared to some of the other teams. That said I see the current top four remaining the top four after the last match, with a few teams changing places. The real battle will be for fifth place with Ecuador, Uruguay, & Colombia. Anything could happen, looking at the fixtures it is easy to see what the outcome could be, but the reason that we watch the games is because that rarely occurs. My latest prediction sees Ecuador winning a decisive home match against Uruguay on October 10, that is enough to secure the playoff spot. To summarize I have Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, & Chile advancing to the World Cup with Ecuador in a playoff against a CONCACAF opponent that they will beat. When I made my first predictions nine months ago I had Argentina, Brazil, Chile, & Colombia advancing with Paraguay in the playoff. I thought that Colombia was playing well, but the wheels have fallen off for them, and I thought that Paraguay would slow down, but they have kept up the pace. I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out. For the next update we are heading North to look at CONCACAF and find out who Ecuador's playoff opponents will be.