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June 19, 7:30am

Netherlands vs Japan

This should be a walk in the park for the Dutch. Their electrifying pace will be far too much to handle for the Japanese. I could sit here and make Japan look silly and continue singing the praises of the Dutch but I’ll spare you some time and just end this preview here.

Final Score: 4-0

Key players to watch:

Netherlands- Arjen Robben (midfielder, Bayern Munich), Robin Van Persie (forward, Arsenal), Dirk Kuyt (forward, Liverpool), Wesley Sneijder (midfielder, Inter Milan), Rafael Van der Vaart (midfielder, Real Madrid)
Japan- Shunsuke Nakamura (midfielder Yokohoma), Keisuke Honda (midfielder, CSKA Moscow), Yasuhito Endo (midfielder, Gamba Osaka), Keiji Tamada (forward, Nagoya Grampus), Shinji Okazaki (forward, Shimizu S-Pulse)

Ghana vs Australia 10:00am

Ghana will be without their star player Michael Essien during this world cup. The versatile midfielder injured his knee during the African Cup of Nations and has never recovered since. This is a massive blow for Ghana as Essien is a vital addition to this squad. It’s tough to say that the loss of one player could decide whether or not a team advances to the next stage, however, in this case it is true. Without Essien, I cannot envision the Ghanaians to get out of their group. They will battle Serbia for the 2nd spot behind Germany, and I believe without Essien, the door is open for the strong Serbians to advance to the next round. Anyway, that won’t matter here as with or without Essien I think Ghana still beats Australia. Sorry, mates.

Final score: 2-0

Key players to watch:

Ghana- Stephen Appiah (midfielder, Bologna), Sulley Muntari (midfielder, Inter Milan), Asamoah Gyan (forward, Rennes), Kevin-Prince Boateng (midfielder, Portsmouth), John Paintsil (defender, Fulham)
Australia- Tim Cahill (midfielder, Everton), Mark Bresciano (midfielder, Palermo), Harry Kewell (forward, Galatassary), Brett Emerton (midfielder, Blackburn), Brett Holman (midfielder, AZ Alkamaar)

Cameroon vs Denmark 2:30pm

This should be the most competitive match of the day. One of these two teams will join the Netherlands into the next round. I believe it will probably be Cameroon; they are the more talented squad and have home-field advantage so to speak. Cameroon will definitely need their star striker Samuel Eto’o to step up and carry the load in the scoring department. Coming off a recent treble victory with his club Inter Milan, Eto’o’s confidence should be soaring sky high leaving him with no excuse for not showing up. I expect Denmark to fight hard but fall short, not just in this match, but also in the tournament in general.

Final score: 2-1

Key players to watch:

Cameroon- Samuel Eto’o (forward, Inter Milan), Alex Song (midfielder, Arsenal), Jean Makoun (midfielder, Lyon), Sebastien Bassong (defender, Tottenham), Geremi Njitap (defender, Ankaragucu)
Denmark- Nicklas Bendtner (forward, Arsenal), Christian Poulsen (midfielder, Juventus), Thomas Enevoldsen (midfielder, Groningen), Jon Dahl Tomasson (forward, Feyenoord), Thomas Sorensen (goalkeeper, Stoke City)

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