World Cup 2010 Preview: Expected and Unexpected Teams That Could Win

Leslie CarlsonContributor IJune 9, 2010

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 09:  Wayne Rooney warms up with team mates during the England training session at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus on June 9, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Here are five teams that are heavy favorites to make it to the finals and then five teams who are sleepers. Read this for more information on how to make your fantasy world cup bracket stronger.


Heavy Favorites

Italy: They won it all in 2006 and looked unimpressive almost all the way through the tournament. For this reason, no one should ever count them out. They were placed in an easy group and probably won’t be challenged until the quarterfinals. In the easy games, they will look lackluster, but they’ll pick it up when it matters most. A few upsets could put Italy in the final.

England: Wayne Rooney is a game changer and Fabio Capello has one of the greatest minds in the sport. They attack hard and will score a lot of goals. If they win an easy group, they won’t have to face any of the tournaments big names until semifinals.

The Netherlands: They have already proven themselves against second-tier teams in qualifying by outscoring them 17-2, but they will bring the same talent and desire to win to games against tougher opponents. They have the ability to attack and score quickly, which could be discouraging for the defenses from Brazil and Spain.

Argentina : Their defense is firm and the back four do not attack. Their offense has an array of attacking talent, including Leo Messi who is probably the best player in the world. He might not play well, but if he does then Argentina will be very difficult to beat.

Germany: Joachim Low is one of the best coaches out of everyone involved. The Germans have a lot of young talent and a couple of veterans to steer the wheel. They will probably be even better in 2014, but don’t count them out in 2010.


Potential Sleepers

Slovenia: Their game against Russia in the qualifiers was impressive. They were lucky and landed in Group C. They could easily turn into a sleeper.

Algeria: Their players are determined to make their country proud. There has been a lot of talk about how they could never advance past England and the United States, which is probably just making the players more determined. Their mentality is definitely there.

Chile: They won more games during qualifying than Brazil did and finished above Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. They haven’t played well against top-tier teams, but that may change.

Slovakia: In 2006, they were extremely good which gave them a berth into the group stages in 2010. They fought hard to get where they are and aren’t ready to give up yet.

Korea DPR: They don’t have many big names and have a very difficult draw, but their mentality and desire to win is as strong as anyone’s.