nzfooty wrote:Holyjoe wrote: Barring a major upset in either then who could we say is the biggest 'surprise' qualifier at this tournament? There are no real unusual participants in the NZ/NK mould as in 2010, I suppose Bosnia being there for their first ever tournament is something different but at 16th in the FIFA rankings then it's hardly a surprise.
Bosnia is as close as we going to get to an unusual participant - not a weak team as you point out but good to see a team making a debut. Of the teams that have qualified most have played at the 2010 WC. There is also a sizeable group that last participated in 2006. To only exceptions I can see are Russia and Belgium (2002), Colombia (1998) and Bosnia.
Perhaps some European teams were unlucky with the group draw and/or the play-offs arrangements because of the way things have been set-up and the over-reliance on FIFA rankings there really probably is little between them. Perhaps the likes of Switzerland, Croatia and Greece got a little lucky... but its hard to argue that there is a huge difference between them and the likes of Sweden ＆ Denmark.
Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria.
Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea.
Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, France, Portugal.
Costa Rica, Honduras, United States.
Argentina, Brazil (hosts), Colombia, Ecuador, Chile.
Uruguay or Jordan
Mexico or New Zealand
If only Cape Verde hadnt screwed up their admin and Panama had held out against the USA.