7:30 AM- Slovakia vs. Paraguay
This could be a tough one to watch. Neither team looked especially adventurous in its opening match, and any scoring that occurs is likely to be the result of a defensive lapse than a great attacking move. Fortunately, it is the early game so most of us will either still be asleep or on our way to work. South American teams have done very well so far, and for that reason I will go with Paraguay. They drew a much tougher team in Italy,, and I think they can sneak one by Slovakia to nudge them closer to qualification.
Slovakia 0-1 Paraguay
10:00 AM- Italy vs. New Zealand
This has all the makings of a blowout. Italy was not very impressive against Paraguay, but they also drew the USA in the first match of the 2006 World Cup before going on to win the whole tournament. This is a painfully easy group and Italy should skate by New Zealand who did well to even earn a point against a mediocre Slovakia squad.
Italy 3-0 New Zealand
2:30 PM- Brazil vs. Ivory Coast
Thank God for this game. The other two are not going to be too entertaining, but this one should be an absolute cracker of a match (yes, the British accents are rubbing off on me). Brazil did not look especially impressive for most of its opening fixture, but that was against a staunchly defensive North Korean squad that did not even really try to press forward until the last gasps. Ivory Coast, on the other hand, impressed against a talented Portugal side without Didier Drogba for most of the match. Ivory Coast really impressed me, and if they were facing Portugal again, or a team less talented than Brazil, I would pick them to win. However, Brazil is a different animal. They are more talented than Brazil at just about every position. They have amazing depth. Everyone on their team can hammer one home from long distance. They just have a phenomenal team, and I am on record as picking them to win it all. I think Brazil will win, but it will be one of the best matches of the tournament (though Denmark-Cameroon was on hell of a game).
Brazil 2-1 Ivory Coast
Maicon’s goal against North Korea resembled the goal of a man Maicon is compared to, Roberto Carlos.