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Soccer's Sweet 16
December 14, 2009
SI senior writer Grant Wahl predicts which teams (in bold) will advance from the group stage next summer
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December 14, 2009

Soccer's Sweet 16

SI senior writer Grant Wahl predicts which teams (in bold) will advance from the group stage next summer

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Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana

Coached by underrated tactical master Joachim Löw, Germany is the best team in this highly balanced group. Ghana has the most talent of the other three and will look to build on its second-round showing in 2006.

Group E

Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon

The Dutch and the Danes cruised through qualifying and bring enough attacking flair to overpower Japan and Cameroon, though Africa's Indomitable Lions will make it close after failing to qualify in 2006.

Group F

Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia

Reigning champion Italy got a sweetheart draw and looks to repeat under Marcello Lippi. Slovakia won its European group, but Paraguay has been hardened by the crucible of South American qualifying.

Group G

Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Portugal

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