I got eight out of ten for the first semi final, so with any luck, I will be quite good at guessing at who is going to qualify. No, Georgia is not a typo.
|1||Serbia||Nije Ljubav Stvar (Željko Joksimović)|
|3||Ukraine||Be My Guest (Gaitana)|
|5||Estonia||Kuula (Ott Lepland)|
|6||Slovenia||Verjamem (Eva Boto)|
|7||Macedonia||Crno i belo (Kaliopi)|
|8||Turkey||Love Me Back (Can Bonomo)|
|9||Georgia||I’m a Joker (Anri Jokhadze)|
|10||Portugal||Vida minha (Filipa Sousa)|
|11||Netherlands||You and Me (Joan Franka)|
|12||Belarus||We Are the Heroes (Litesound)|
|13||Croatia||Nebo (Nina Badric)|
|14||Malta||This is the Night (Kurt Calleja)|
|15||Slovakia||Don’t Close Your Eyes (Max Jason Mai)|
|16||Lithuania||Love Is Blind (Donny Montell)|
|17||Bosnia & Herzegovina||Korake ti znam (MayaSar)|
|18||Bulgaria||Love Unlimited (Sofi Marinova)|
Here we are then, in just a few hours the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku kicks off with the first of two semi-finals, deciding the first ten songs that will head on into the final. The juries have sent their votes off after watching the second dress rehearsal last night and it’s just time for the big two hour show to impress the voters from home.
The order of the first semi-final can be found on the right hand side of this page, and all these countries can vote in this one, along with hosts Azerbaijan, Italy and Spain. So, while I can’t vote (I can’t even watch it live) here are my predictions for the first semi-final (not who I want in the final it must be said, as much as I’d love to see San Marino make it…), in the order that we’ll find out at the conclusion of the final. Belgium is not a typo, either.
|1||Iceland||Never Forget (Greta Salome & Jonsi)|
|2||Russia||Party for Everybody (Buranovskiye Babushki)|
|3||Denmark||Should’ve Known Better (Soluna Samay)|
|4||Greece||Aphrodisiac (Eleftheria Eleftheriou)|
|7||Hungary||Sound of Our Hearts (Compact Disco)|
|9||Moldova||Lautar (Pasha Parfeny)|
|10||Belgium||Would You? (Iris)|
|11||Albania||Suus (Rona Nishliu)|
|13||Cyprus||La La Love (Ivi Adamou)|
|14||Latvia||Beautiful Song (Anmary)|
|15||Austria||Woki mit deim Popo (Trackshittaz)|
|16||Finland||Nar jag blundar (Pernilla Karlsson)|
|17||Montenegro||Euro Neuro (Rambo Amadeus)|
|18||San Marino||The Social Network Song (Valentina Monetta)|
Seven days to go, I can’t wait. You can’t wait. The World Cup is nearly here. So here we are, my official, World Cup Predictions.
Sadly for the hosts, I can’t see South Africa doing that much. I know they are the hosts and might spring a surprise draw from somewhere, I sadly think they will be the first ever World Cup hosts to be knocked out in the Group Stages. France will get knocked out, they have been abysmal really. A shocking coach, very lucky to get into it (as the Irish found out). Uruguay aren’t too bad a side either. Mexico to finish 1st easily.
Group B is an interesting and tough group to predict. I find none of these teams are actually going to have any chance. Nigeria to go top ever so slightly ahead of Argentina by the fact the coach knows what they are doing and has some sort of unity in the team. South Korea and Greece to head home early, for the simple reason they aren’t very good.
England’s group, and if they don’t get all nine points they should be sent home early anyway. So easy for them, and while USA might provide to be a potential banana skin, the opposition in Slovenia and Algeria are just, bad. How on earth did Algeria get in instead of Egypt is what I want to know. USA also comfortably in second, they aren’t too bad a team, but unlikely to make too much of an impact.
Any of three teams can finish second in Group D, and that is because I expect Germany to run away with it. Serbia, Ghana and Australia are all very similar teams and if two of them went out it would be a shame. I pick Serbia to finish second due to the fact I have a gut feeling about them, which probably means I will be wrong.
Group E features the Netherlands, who will be superior to any teams in this group. Fourth place will also be sorted easily by Japan, who, lets face it, despite making England look like schoolboys, aren’t that good. So the battle for second, and my prediction to make it on goal difference is Denmark.
Again, if Italy don’t get nine points here. And if New Zealand get a point, there will be celebrations because the tournament outsiders at 2000-1 are likely to be the tournament’s whipping boys. In second will be Paraguay, comfortably to a fairly average Slovakian side.
The so called Group of Death. In fact, I don’t think it will be. Brazil top, Ivory Coast second, Portugal third and North Korea fourth. In fact even more, I’d consider swapping Portugal and North Korea. Being unable to beat Cape Verde Islands (ranked 117th) doesn’t help. In all fairness, I have no idea what North Korea will be like, never seen them play, and I doubt the North Koreans will get to seem them either.
And finally, Group H. Spain always seem to be in the last group and as European Champions I fully expect them to brush aside the competition. The battle for second is going to be close, but despite Chile being a decent little team, I can see Switzerland squeezing through. Honduras, its great for them tat they are there, shame they probably won’t make an impact. Well, Wilson Palacios might.
|Group A||Mexico||Uruguay||France||South Africa|
|Group B||Nigeria||Argentina||Greece||South Korea|
|Group F||Italy||Paraguay||Slovakia||New Zealand|
|Group G||Brazil||Ivory Coast||Portugal||North Korea|
Mexico v Argentina: I mentioned before that Argentina under Maradona have no chance. Mexico are not a side to be under estimated as proven in some of their many warm-up games. Mexico to win 2-1.
Nigeria v Uruguay: Nigeria are a solid African team, no doubting that. Uruguay are a solid South American team. This game will be really close. Nigeria to go through on penalties.
England v Serbia: I like Serbia, I don’t care if they are 80-1 to win it. I think England will underestimate them and then simply get beat 1-0. Don’t be surprised if we get beat from them, I won’t be.
Germany v USA: USA are a decent team and even if Germany have the apparent backroom troubles, I can easily see them brushing off the Americans.
Netherlands v Paraguay: Although Paraguay are an underrated nation, I can’t see them outdoing the Dutch. 3-1 Holland.
Italy v Denmark: This in theory shouldn’t be too much trouble for the Italians, but I can see Denmark really going for it. Italy to scrape it in extra time.
Brazil v Switzerland: No contest here, Brazil to win and do it comfortably and in style.
Spain v Ivory Coast: This is a tough one to call as both of them are very strong teams, defiantly the tie of the round. Spain have the edge in this one as I feel that the team are much better as a whole than the Ivory Coast.
Mexico v Serbia: I doubt you expected either of these teams to get this far, but the Serbians are strong and I do think they will smash the Mexican charge. Forza Serbia.
Nigeria v Germany: Germany easily, Nigeria are not as good to topple the strength of the Germans.
Netherlands v Brazil: What a game this will be. Two teams playing perfect football, it will go all the way, who will have the nerve at the end of it, the Dutch.
Italy v Spain: Another potentially cracker of a game. But again, I find Spain will have too much against a ageing Italian side, who will probably be at this stage be tiring and having a lot of fitness trouble. Spain will find them out towards the end of the game.
Serbia v Netherlands: I like the Serbians, as you have probably guessed by now. But I do feel that they will be simply not good enough to beat the Dutch at this stage. All the energy will have gone from them by now. It won’t be a massive defeat, they’ll push them. But the Netherlands will be going to the final.
Germany v Spain: Germany haven’t had too much of a difficult run to this stage. However, their slightly weaker team and tensions in the background might be a problem against a very impressive Spanish team.
The big one, the showpiece event after Germany beat Serbia in the 3rd place playoff. The Netherlands v Spain, what a game. Not like the usual dull finals, I can see this one being a fantastic game, it’ll be settled by a last minute goal… for the Netherlands! 3-2 win in the end.