Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

THE LOWDOWN BRAZIL, as Ever, [...]

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

THE LOWDOWN BRAZIL, as Ever, [...]

Article excerpt

THE LOWDOWN BRAZIL, as ever, go into the tournament as one of the strongest contenders to win it. However, patchy performances in qualifying and a heavy reliance on Kaka - still short of match fitness and form after injury - to provide the inventive spark for a workmanlike rather than usual individual brilliance-packed team has many worried that a knockout exit looms. PORTUGAL struggled in qualifying and have blown hot and cold since. But they have Cristiano Ronaldo fit and looking dangerous and he should be able to inspire his side to the knockout stages. The performances of his lesser colleagues, though, will determine how far they go.

IVORY COAST, coached by former England boss Sven-G|ran Eriksson, until a week ago looked capable of upsetting Group G's favourites. But the broken arm suffered by leading light Didier Drogba has thrown their competitiveness in South Africa into doubt. With him, this will be this tournament's 'Group of Death'. Without him, they'll struggle to avoid going home after three games. …

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