29 June 2006
Chiara and I are heading out of Rome tomorrow to go to Belgium and Holland for the weekend. we're heading to Mechelen and its' Canadian oupost of sports enthusiasm: the home of Evan and Tineke. I'm anticipating Belgian beers, much trash talk, and slavish devotion from all attendees.
Amsterdam won't happen until Sunday, so we'll be missing Boom Chicago's World Cup Show "Kick This", but we'll still get to think hope and dream football. On bikes.
I-m taking a stab at some predictions here. I did pretty well last round, though they seemed relatively easy. This round it gets harder.
Who's going to take it, the better team? Or the home team? Both have scored 10 goals so far and let in only 2. SO they're even, on paper. But Germany let in those 2 goals both in their first game. And 6 of Argentina's 10 goals came in one game against the disappointing Serbia Montenegro. Both have potent offenses though: Messi, Crespo and Saviola vs. Podolski and Klose. In the midfield it'll be Ballck vs. Riquelme to see who can make the sweetest set-ups. Defense will be Argentina's experience vs. Germany's youth. It's a tough battle of two powerful willful teams enjoying much World Cup success this month. But I think the edge goes to Germany. I prefer Argentina, let's be clear on that. But it seems that Argentina peaked in their 6-0 rout of S&M; they struggled mightily against lesser Mexico who forced extra time. Germany hasn't conceded a goal since their opening fixture and have only gotten stronger. Their Round of 16 match was a mighty thumping of Sweden. Who it must be admitted, played pretty shitty the entire tournament. Point is, Germany's totally pumped, and when I say Germany, I mean the whole country. They're playing beautiful attacking flexible football and the whole country is becoming flexible and free-spirited, in tune with their team. I'm not sure Argentina can hold up against it. The thing I'm expecting though is good attacking football with lots of chances going both ways.