World Cup: Matchday 1 Previews

Written by Soccer, Sports

It’s World Cup time! Catch up with Dave Lifton’s coverage — and read his first round of previews — right here.

Throughout the World Cup, I’m going to provide nightly recaps of the day’s events, and previews of the next day’s games with the score that I have predicted in Popdose’s Yahoo Fantasy Group. Occasionally, life will get in the way, but that is my intention as we head into the opening weekend. When I know in advance I’m going to miss a day, I’ll try to do my match previews ahead of time. In case you missed them, here are my previews of each of the groups:

Groups A & B

Groups C & D

Groups E & F

Groups G & H

South Africa v. Mexico 10:00 AM ET, ESPN

The opening game of the first World Cup played on African soil, with Nelson Mandela in attendance, should be enough for the home country to get an early goal, either through raw emotion or a free kick or penalty given by a sympathetic referee. But Mexico will regroup quickly enough and dominate the rest of the way with a great possession game, putting a few past the hosts in the process.

Prediction: Mexico 2, South Africa 1

Uruguay v. France 2:30 PM ET, ESPN

Diego Forlan has come a long way since he was run out of Manchester United as a high-priced washout. But Uruguay will need more than him to get past France’s always-strong defense. But France’s lack of cohesion in the midfield, coupled with Uruguay’s penchant for professional fouls, should make this a very ugly early match.

Prediction: 0-0