England’s Fixtures For 2010

Saturday 12th June 2010, KO 7:30pm GMT – England v USA

Friday 18th June, KO 7.30pm GMT – England v Algeria

Wednesday 23rd June, KO 3:00pm GMT – England v Slovenia

So there’s now no excuses for getting married on those dates 😉

FIFA Probably Needs To Redefine ‘Emergency Meeting’

First of all, apologies – some peculiar technical glitches with my internet connection (who knew that ‘the internets’ could get blown around by high winds) and my laptop (which desperately needs a new fan), it’s not been possible to post anything for a week or so. Everything seems to be working at the moment, so here’s a new post.

A quick summary of yesterday’s FIFA emergency general meeting: there will no changes in the amount of match officials and Thierry Henry will be ‘investigated’.

That’s it. I hope lunch was a good one.

More importantly, the seeding system for tomorrow’s draw were announced and are as follows:

Pot One:  South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, Argentina, England and the Netherlands

Pot Two: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, Paraguay, Chile and Uruguay

Pot Three: Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Mexico and Honduras.

Pot Four:  France, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece, Serbia, Denmark and Slovakia.

According to the latest FIFA rankings, five of the teams in Pot 4, half of the teams in Pot 2 and two of the teams in Pot 3 are in the top 20. Despite qualifying via the playoffs, France and Portugal are currently ranked higher than we are (which may see one of them drawn in South Africa’s group)

Another thing worth remembering is that as the South American qualifiers have already played each other during their continental qualifying competition, it is highly unlikely that they’ll be drawn against each other. I’d also be surprised if South Africa are drawn against another African nation.

There’s been a lot of speculation in today’s press regarding possible opponents for England but I’m not going to waste time on that; here’s a list of qualifying nations we’ve never played: Algeria, Ghana, Honduras, North Korea, the Ivory Coast and Serbia. I really hope we avoid the last two in the group stages – both of them are potential quarter finalists. Another fact to amaze your friends: we have not played a competitive game against Chile since the notorious 1950 World Cup campaign when we lost to the USA.

All being well we’ll be covering the draw live via the 11lionslive tab above. The draw will be covered on BBC2 starting at 5:15pm GMT and – apparently for the first time – live on ESPN at 12.oopm EST.

So in less than 24 hours we’ll know our opponents and millions of stickers, wall charts and previews will be keeping printing presses busy across the world…hooray!

Spurs 9, Wigan 1: Defoe Gets Five

by on November 22, 2009
in Finals Draw, Lists, Social Networking

1-0 at half time…9-1 after 90 minutes, with three of Jermain Defoe’s goals coming in seven minutes before the hour mark. I know it’s a while before Mr Capello announces the squad, but that’s exactly the kind of performance I’d want from one of my strikers.

The last FIFA rankings before the draw were published on Friday. If the groups were going to be decided purely on the rankings (and remember they won’t – Goal.com has an extremely plausible theory here), here’s how the seeds would look:

1st ranked: Spain, Brazil, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Germany, France & Argentina

2nd ranked: England, Cameroon, Greece, USA, Mexico, Ivory Coast, Chile & Switzerland

3rd ranked: Uruguay, Serbia, Australia, Nigeria, Denmark, Algeria, Paraguay & Slovenia

4th ranked: Slovakia, Ghana, Honduras, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, North Korea & South Africa

Couple of things worth noting: South Africa are the lowest ranked team in the competition, so I would imagine that they would be automatically placed in Group 1 as team A1 so they can kick off their own tournament on June 11th at Soccer City in Johannesburg. I would also guess that because neither Holland & Portugal have ever won a major international tournament one of them might have to switch places with England. My guess would be Portugal, purely because they qualified via the playoffs, but FIFA are a law unto themselves and you never know what might happen.

We’ll definitely be covering the draw on 4th December via 11lionslive with instant reaction on twitter and analysis on the blog as soon as we’ve finished working out which teams will feature in next year’s Group Of Death.