FIFA World Cup 2010 - Group-A Preview

Group A is the only one with 2 FIFA World Cup winners, in France and Uruguay. Uruguay who won in 1930 and 1938, and have never impressed, thereafter. Mexico, in fact, have been more dominant than Uruguay, on the world stage, with several FIFA WC appearances.

France, of course, were the winners in 2002, and are the best of the group, though their controversial qualification dominated the headlines, recently. Nothing much is expected of the fourth team, South Africa, whose best claim to fame is as hosts to the tournament.

France have an all-win record of three matches, against South Africa, in 2 friendlies in 1997 and 2000, and 2002 WC group match.

Mexico have a better record against the French, drawing one of three World Cup encounters, while losing the other two.

They last met in a WC, in England 1966. However, France have made a clean sweep of 3 other matches played since, including a 4-0 thrashing of the Mexicans at the 2001 Federation Cup.

France's showing against Uruguay in past tournaments is similar, with a win and a draw, in 1966 and 2002, respectively.

A solitary World Cup meeting between Uruguay and Mexico ended in a draw. The teams have since traded wins and draws, equally. The last match in 2005 went 3-1 in Mexico's favour.

South Africa have never played Mexico in any previous edition of the World Cup, though in 2 friendlies between the teams, Mexico have had the upper hand. Uruguay have a draw and win to show in matches against the hosts, neither in a World Cup.

Conventional wisdom says France and Mexico will go through, from this group.

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Suresh Iyer is an avid sports fan and blogger

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