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June 14, 2010 at 5:33 AM

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

GROUP F

Italy — Left American boy Giuseppe Rossi off the final roster. Some wonder if they’re too old.

New Zealand — Scoring a goal would be considered a success. Getting a draw — a major victory.

Paraguay — Always seem to be in the field, never seem to do much. Could this be the year?

Slovakia — 1st-time qualifier could make some noise. Marek Hamsik (EPL bound?) will be the key.

Player to watch: Andrea Pirlo, Italy (one of the more underrated players in the world, a true playmaker)

Big game: Italy v. Paraguay, June 14, 11:30 a.m. PT (could the group favorite be upset?)

Prediction: I think Italy is overrated as a title contender, but in this group, many expect the Azzurri will be alright. This is maybe the easiest of the eight. New Zealand is an afterthought in my view, which makes the Paraguay-Slovakia match an interesting one.

1. Italy 6 pts.

2. Paraguay 6 pts.

3. Slovakia 6 pts. (tiebreaker casualty)

4. New Zealand 0 pts.

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