Van Persie scored twice for the Netherlands in their defeat of Mexico. I am really high on the Netherlands and Van Persie becomes a legitimate option to start from week one (vs Denmark).
Michael Essien will miss the World Cup which is a huge blow to Ghana's chance. I like Serbia to progress from Group D after which they will likely meet a relatively strong England side.
Philip Lahm has been handed the German armband guaranteeing his place in the starting XI and making him one of the most valuable defenders around.Like fellow ex-teammate Essien, Lassana Diarra will also miss the tournament. The injury should pave the way for PL Fantasy favourite Abou Diaby to play alongside Jeremy Toulanan, as they did on several occasions in the qualifiers.
Okay it was against Canada but Argentina finally put on a display that matches their talent levels. Goals for Tevez, Aguero and (new Real man?) Di Maria have encouraged me to rethink my shunning of Maradona's men with the insanely talented Di Maria particularly intriguing.
Eto'o is threatening to pull out from the Cameroon squad following criticism from World Cup legend Roger Milla. I think that success on a such a big stage is probably a bridge too far for Eto'o anyway and Cameroon aren't the threat they were back in '98.
Torres is back in training which is great news for Spain and fantasy players alike. I like Villa, Xavi and Silva more with Torres in the side, not to mention the fact that Torres himself would be a very useful pickup. Unless I see something concrete I will probably avoid Torres in game 1 but he definitely warrants transfer consideration.
Man United's Park Ji Sung was on target as South Korea beat Japan in a midweek friendly. South Korea have a decent chance of getting out of Group B and Park could be worth a quick thought if you need to grab a player from one of the less popular teams.
First team for Sky competition
With the McDonald's game still not open until the final squads are announced, I've been playing around with my Sky Sports team and I thought I'd share my first attempt to see what everyone thought. Why not share your own teams and hints for lesser known players to watch out in the this year's competition.
- I Casillas
- D Alves
- P Lahm
- G Chiellini
- G van Bronckhorst
- F Lampard
- F Ribery
- L Messi
- D Drogba
- D Villa
Just to get you in the right mood, here's a classic World Cup goal from 2006 which is often neglected on the all time goal lists (though kudos to the Guardian for picking this one).