World Cup: Group Stage Upset Possibilities
There are obvious favorites in each group, but there are some teams that may pull off some upsets since they match up well with the supposed favorite.
Group Stage Upset Picks
England vs. USA – Group C
Bovada has a moneyline for this match already and has England as the big favorite at -188 with USA at +500 and a draw at +280.
In the first match in Group C England plays the USA in a huge match for each squad. The English are stacked again and have the squad to go far, but they have not progressed past the quarterfinals since 1990.
England has a ton of pressure on them this summer in South Africa to do well and they will be facing a solid USA squad that will not back down in this match. The USA has shown, especially in last June’s Confederations Cup, that they can play with elite teams, which England is. The USA has Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan and both of these guys can score and really take advantage of the counter attack. One of the main reasons USA can win or play to a draw in this match is that they have Everton G Tim Howard, who is one of the best net-minders in the English Premiere League.
Wayne Rooney and the gamut of stars England has will put pressure on the American defense and they will tough to beat in the midfield, but they have minor weaknesses in all areas, especially in goal. The English are much better than the USA on paper, but it remains to be seen if they will succumb to the pressure they are under in their first World Cup match.
Portugal vs. Brazil – Group G
Group G is the Group of Death and the main reason is that perennial powerhouse Brazil and 2006 World Cup semifinalist Portugal are in it.
Bovada has Brazil as the favorite in this match at -117 with Portugal at +280 and a draw at +260.
FIFA has Brazil as the top-ranked team in the world and Portugal third.
Portugal did not have an easy time qualifying for South Africa, but they have a dangerous squad and one of the best goal-scorers in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid. While Brazil has a great squad, as usual, they tend to have problems against teams that drop back and pack the defense.
Even though Ronaldo is the big name for the Portugal squad the strength of their team is actually their defense, especially their central defense. That is not good for a Brazilian squad that does not have a very sharp passing offense. This is also the last match in group play so the winner will likely win the group.
Greece vs. Argentina – Group B
Greece is not getting much press in Group B with the Argentina and Nigeria, who both have great offenses, in the same group, but the Greeks have a great defense and will not concede many goals.
Bovada has Argentina at -175 with Greece at +450 and a draw at +290.
Argentina may have the best offense in the World Cup field and they have the best striker in the world in Lionel Messi of Barcelona. They attack from the opening whistle and have many players that can find the back of the net. However, Greece has a great defense led by Liverpool’s Sotirios Kyrgiakos and they will drop back and try to thwart the opponent’s attack.
Greece does not have a good offense and Argentina does not have a good defense, but that may help the Greeks. Greece will sit back and wait for the counter-attack since that may be their best chance to score and since Argentina will be attacking all game Greece will have their chances.