The World Cup is almost here! So that you aren't caught flat-footed, we're previewing each group, in no particular order, to explain why your team has no chance to win (you'll thank us later). Today: Group C! If you have any thoughts on a particular group, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our operators are standing by.
What is generally considered the toughest group in the finals, or The Group of Death, is led by Argentina. All you need to know about them is that they beat Brazil 3-1 in qualifying, and did it convincingly. Led by Lionel Messi, Juan Roman Riquelme, Hernan Crespo and Carlos Tevez, they are long on offense and short of defense. In their last Cup appearance they didn't even get out of the group phase. But what of the (don't call us Holland!) Netherlands, Cote (don't call us Ivory Coast!) d'Ivoire and Serbia (don't call us Yugoslavia) and Montenegro? This is very close; any could advance. The vital statistics:
• Group C: Argentina, Cote d'Ivoire, the Netherlands, Serbia and Montenegro.
• Our pick to win: Argentina.
• Which means the winner will probably be: the Netherlands. (Two teams advance).
• No chance: Cote d'Ivoire.
• By the time group phase is over, could be separate countries: Serbia and Montenegro.
• Match schedule.