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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 D! If you have any thoughts on a particular group, send them to Operators are standing by.

Fate was not smiling on Portugal when they divided up the Iberian Peninsula — Spain definitely got the largest hunk. Portugal's national soccer team has also had large ambitions, but slender results. Will this year be different? The Magic Eight Ball says: "The answer is not clear." Then, "Perhaps." Stupid ball. Portugal is, however, the favorite in Group D, or should be, if they play up to potential. Portugal can't forget Euro 2004, when it lost at home to Greece in the finals, 1-0, in what we're told was a huge upset. But look out for Mexico, which seems to play poorly against European competition, but will take on a Portugal squad which has a Brazilian coach. So make of that what you will. Mexico takes on Iran and Angola as its first two opponents, so their final game with Portugal should decide the group. The vital statistics:


• Group D: Angola, Iran, Mexico, Portugal.
• Our pick to win: Portugal.
• Which means the winner will probably be: Mexico.
• No chance: Angola.
• Just happy their statues haven't been toppled: Iran.