As soon as the Ivory Coast’s star Didier Drogba went down, so went the hopes of the Ivory Coast for the World Cup which is set to kick off in less than two weeks. Drogba collided with a Japanese defender and fractured his elbow. Read more.
It’s all well and good that the Ivory Coast is trying to remain positive, but to me, that’s it for them. The timing of Drogba’s injury couldn’t be worse with the World Cup so close. And I don’t care what anyone says, Drogba is to the Ivory Coast what Peyton Manning is to the Indianapolis Colts, meaning, he’s not everything, he’s damn near the only thing. Their whole style of play is based around having the one of the greatest strikers in the world up front, so they can stay positive all they like, I still don’t like their chances.
But what does this do to the so-called group of death odds? It’s probably not going to affect the top two teams in the group, Portugal and Brazil all that much, but North Korea has to be liking their chances a little more now. Now all of a sudden, that Group G, the group of death isn’t looking so deadly. In fact, it might not even be the group of death anymore.
What we are seeing is injuries changing the dynamics of this tournament. The other obvious choice for the new group of death would have been group D, with Germany, Ghana and Serbia as the main contenders. But injuries have rattled that group as well. Germany may be without their captain Michael Ballack and Ghana is expected to also be without the face of their team, Michael Essien.
I’m going to go out on a reckless limb and say that Group C just might be the sleeper group of death. I look at teams like England who nobody expects to do well, and the USA, as well as Algeria, who was among the leaders in qualifying from the African nations and this could be an extremely tough group to get out of. The USA has been a team that has been surging over the past decade, if there was ever a time for them to make their mark, it would be now.