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Stats suggest England’s group could be trickier than many expect

| 09.06.2010

Contrary to popular belief, England have been given what is, in terms of ranking, the second toughest group of the 2010 World Cup.

According to FIFA rankings, Group C has a ranking total of 77, accumulated from the current positions of England (ranked 8th), USA (14), Slovenia (25) and Algeria (30).

Following the same formula, the most competitive group is Germany’s Group D, where the Germans (6), Serbia (15), Australia (20) and Ghana (32) are worth a combined 73, the lowest of the tournament.

The easiest group is Group F, where Italy (5), Paraguay (31), Slovakia (34) and New Zealand (78) form a total of 138, which is by far the highest at the World Cup.

These statistics offer an interesting twist on the widely-accepted notion that England should breeze through the first round with minimal effort.

With only six places separating Fabio Capello’s side and the USA in the FIFA rankings, England’s World Cup opener on Saturday could be a tight encounter.

The USA have won two games in succession, and Bob Bradley’s men will be looking to reproduce the form which led them to the 2009 Confederations Cup final.

Slovenia’s ranking of 25, meanwhile, should not surprise England fans. They posed difficulties for the Three Lions when the two sides met in a friendly match last year, and England were relieved to leave Wembley with a 2-1 win.

England will still be confident of winning Group C in spite of this statistical evidence, and they are a very convincing 1/3 to do so.

If England reach the semi-finals, Brazil are the likely opponents, and with the South Americans 9/2 second favourites for the World Cup, it could be worth betting on England to be eliminated by Brazil at 8/1.

Could England possibly struggle in Group C? They are 8/1 to be eliminated at the group stage. See the full England Specials market.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.