World Cup 2010: Group G Analysis - Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast & Portugal

Group Strength A tantalising battle between three teams, Brazil, Ivory Coast and Portugal, who love to exhibit the beautiful game. North Korea pulled off one of the biggest shocks ever in World Cup finals history when they stunned Italy back in 1966, but they will be out for an even bigger scalp if they can take down the Selecao. Group Favourites Brazil should be confident of securing top spot in the group, but Portugal, if they can really hit form in six months' time, will put in a serious challenge. The Selecao will be glad to face their Portuguese cousins, but a physical encounter with Ivory Coast could give them some problems. Battle for Second Portugal and Ivory Coast will go hammer and tongs to fight for second place at the very least. That they will meet each other in their first group game may be anti-climactic for the final round of games, but it will be an extremely vital opening encounter for both. Whoever loses will face an uphill battle to get back on track. The Outsiders North Korea are the underdogs in this group full of pedigree and star players. They could not have asked for a more difficult first game to kick-start their finals campaign, but if they bag positive results in the other two matches, they could pull off a surprise. Again! The Long Road Forward The runners-up for this group will face the winner of Group H, very likely to be Spain. That essentially means that they will have to face the number one and number two ranked nations in FIFA's current world ranking. It doesn't stop there as a potential clash with Italy also awaits in the Q-finals. The winners of this group, however, could face Netherlands in the last 16, while England, France, Germany or Argentina are possible opponents in the semi-finals.


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