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June 15, 2010 at 3:49 AM

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

GROUP G

Brazil — No Ronaldinho. No Pato. Heck Brazil’s ‘B’ team could probably make the quarterfinals.

Ivory Coast — The arm/elbow injury to Drogba is an able excuse. But will the others pick up the slack?

North Korea — Foreigners won’t be able to interview ’em. Fans at home won’t be able to watch ’em live.

Portugal — A disappointment in qualifying and lost the dynamic Nani to injury. Very hot and cold.

Player to watch: Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal (wants to get back into that ‘best in the world’ discussion)

Big game: Brazil v. Portugal, June 25, 7 a.m. PT (will it be as good as that one Nike ad from way back?)

Prediction: Many are calling this the Group of Death, despite North Korea being perhaps the worst team in the field. The Drogba injury has marred this one a bit, and could have paved the way for the other two top teams to advance. Ivory Coast still has above-average talent without him though, and don’t rule out a Willis Reed-like comeback.

1. Brazil 7 pts.

2. Portugal 6 pts.

3. Ivory Coast 4 pts.

4. North Korea 0 pts.

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