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Fearless predictions

Saturday, June 26, 2010
Jun 26
9:47
PM ET

For the record, round of 16 predictions:

Uruguay versus South Korea
RB: Uruguay in a tight match.
MD: Uruguay beats South Korea, which, at time of this writing is 1-1 with 15 minutes to go. So I might just turn around and edit this by the time I finish writing. You'll never know if I did.

USA versus Ghana
RB: USA! USA! USA! But this baby will go to extra time.
MD: The United States beats Ghana. Even though Rustenburg sounds a little bit like Nuremberg, and once again there's a running track around the pitch, and Ghana will likely start six of the same players who beat the U.S. that fateful day in 2006, this time I see an emotional victory for the U.S. and the dulcet, two-part harmony of Donovan and Dempsey.

England versus Germany
RB: Germany will win, though it pains me to type it.
MD: England beats Germany. I've rewritten this prediction 12 times. But I've now convinced myself that England has convinced themselves that they're better than Germany. And that will make an ounce of difference. And the imperial measurement system being far superior to the metric system, Germany doesn't stand a chance.

Argentina versus Mexico
RB: Argentina will win, though it pains me to type it.
MD: Argentina beats Mexico. On paper, this shouldn't be close. On grass, it will be.

Netherlands versus Slovakia
RB: Netherlands will win this grim game.
MD: Netherlands beats Slovakia. It won't be pretty. It will be somewhat orange. Let's hope it doesn't rain on Marek Hamsik's haircut.

Brazil versus Chile
RB: Brazil wins but not by much.
MD: Brazil beats Chile. I'm looking forward to this one. So is Brazil.

Japan versus Paraguay
RB: Japan takes this on penalties after a scoreless match.
MD: Japan beats Paraguay. This Japanese team has grown on me. Honda and Matsui have caught the eye. I like the Japanese national anthem -- it kind of ends abruptly right in the middle of what seems like the middle.

Portugal versus Spain
RB: Portugal wins in the shock of the round.
MD: Portugal beats Spain. "Quite controversial." I put this in quotes because I have a Dutch colleague who says this all the time. And I can't think of these words without hearing him say it. And I find Dutch people speaking English only marginally less funny than Americans and English people speaking French. Anyway, I just think Portugal is more explosive than the Spanish paper cutters.

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