Although it’s still a long way off – four months and change – the 2010  FIFA World Cup has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue since  Italy  won a shocker last time the Cup was held. Unfortunately, no noteworthy happenings have jumped out and grabbed fans in. There are no shockers to date.  Brazil  is still the favorite, with  England,  Spain  and  Argentina  not very far behind. But people have already started selecting from the respective groups.

Group E, for many, looks to be the toughest. You could walk into  top roulette casinos and have a better chance picking a straight number than selecting a winner of the four teams –  Netherlands,  Denmark,  Japan  and  Cameroon –  with any real confidence. However, the unheralded  Cameroon  carries the second-best odds of the group for a final with   -66/1. Yes, it’s still an incredible long shot, and  Denmark  is thought to be a better all-around team, but don’t be surprised to see  Cameroon  come out unscathed.

Another group up in the air, for all intents and purposes, is Group F, containing  Italy,  Paraguay,  New Zealand  and  Slovakia.  Italy’s the odds-on favorite, but their 2006 triumph has carryover respect.  Paraguay  has been scratching and clawing and could easily outshine the boot-shaped footballers.

Most in the football world already have Groups G and H locked up, with Brazil (G) and Spain (H) winning respectively. However,  Portugal, in  Brazil’s Group, has a healthy and impressive team, showing drive and determination. If  Brazil  isn’t on its collective toes,  Portugal  could come out ahead of the pack. Unlikely, yes, but that’s what sports are all about.

Regardless of who ends up winning, the World Cup cannot get here soon enough. In the meantime, thankfully, we have plenty of wonderful  football action to keep us semi-satisfied. But there’s no substitute for the real deal. If 2010 brings even half of the intensity of 2006, fans will certainly get their money’s worth come June.

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