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June 13, 2010 at 3:17 AM

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

GROUP D

Australia — Got through the group stage last year and have the pieces to possibly make another run.

Germany — The injury to Michael Ballack is a blow, but this power does not lack talent to be sure.

Ghana — A team much more affected by a hurt star (Michael Essien). Don’t sleep on them though.

Serbia — Defensive stalwarts are a popular sleeper pick, not only to advance, but to win the group.

Player to watch: Nemanja Vidic, Serbia (Man Utd. star leads one of the stingiest defenses)

Big game: Germany v. Serbia, June 18, 4:30 a.m. PT (I think the winner of this one takes the group)

Prediction: Many people called Brazil-Portugal-Ivory Coast the Group of Death, but I like my killer groups to have four good teams. This is one where any of the teams could advance, and also win a knockout round match or two. Tied with Group A as the hardest one to pick.

1. Serbia 5 pts

2. Germany 4 pts. (advance via tiebreaker)

3. Ghana 4 pts.

4. Australia 2 pts.

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