FIFA World Cup Preview: Part 7 of 8

GROUP G (‘The Group of Death”)

Brazil: The giants of this group of death will go into the tournament, like always, as favourites. And with a good reason too, as they produce magnificent players left, right and centre. Coach Dunga, has opted for a steady game that Brazil have not been known for. A mixture of both defence and attack has overpowered their long-lasting style of attack, attack, attack! The question is, Can these Brazilian stars stand up and produce beyond the group stage?

Player to watch: Kaka (Midfielder) Now the Brazilian number 10 has to fill the big shoes left by the likes of Pele, Ronaldhino and Rivaldo. The Real Madrid playmaker shouldn’t have any troubles with his skills and penetration, but his leadership skills in the midfield are vital to Brazil’s chances.

North Korea: The ‘babies’ of this group will go into the tournament with nothing to lose. They built there qualification on solid defence but lacked firepower. Their defence will be put to the test with the likes of Kaka, Ronaldo and Drogba storming through.

Player to watch: Ri Myong-guk (Goalkeeper) Despite being only 23, Ri Myong –guk is the main man between the goal-posts for North Korea. His vital clean sheets will need to be replicated in the world cup if his team are to have any chance of progressing through.

Ivory Coast: A team that is renowned for attacking firepower and flair but their lack of discipline in defence could make them vulnerable in the cup. Their midfield playmakers, Yaya Toure and Didier Zokora will need to stand up in the big time if the Ivorians are to have any chance of progressing through.

Player to watch: Solomon Kalou (Attacker) We all know of Dider Drogba, but the man who partners him at both country and club level is Soloman Kalou. Their knowledge of each others games could prove vital to Ivory Coast’s scoring chances.

Portugal: Another giant of this group has it all at the back, class in the middle but the concern is up front. Ronaldo is a shadow of the player he is at club when it comes to international level and has failed to score a goal in his seven qualifying matches. This man needs to stand up and prove his $143 million worth.

Player to watch: Deco (midfielder) the clever Chelsea ball player has twice been named the top midfielder in Europe. Deco will be looking to lead the young Portugal midfield through the tough campaign.

Through to round of 16: Brazil & Portugal


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