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June 11, 2010 at 12:40 AM

My “I’m hardly an expert” World Cup predictions — Group A

GROUP A

France — Uber talented (Ribery, Anelka, Malouda, Evra) but for whatever reason can’t play together.

Mexico — Lots of quality, both experienced and youthful. Perhaps this is the year they make a run.

South Africa — Hosts are the sleeper in the group. Will surely play inspired at home and could surprise.

Uruguay — Many are unsure about Diego Forlan and Co. Advanced to final via playoff with Costa Rica.

Player to watch: Franck Ribery, France (will he be inspired by missing the UCL final? maybe)

Big game: South Africa v. Mexico, June 11, 7 a.m. PT (first game of the tournament!)

Prediction: This is one of the few groups where any two teams could advance and I wouldn’t be surprised. Call it a hunch. Call it CONCACAF bias. I feel Mexico is ready for a solid showing at the World Cup. I also think Ribery is the difference for a France team that underachieves probably more than any team in the world right now.

1. Mexico 7 pts.

2. France 5 pts.

3. South Africa 2 pts.

4. Uruguay 1 pt.

Please feel free to have discussion of the opening-day games here.

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