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Teams in this Category include- South Africa, Mexico, Urugay and France.

South Africa- It has been a tumultuous few years for South Africa, but a creditable performance at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, the prelude to this summer, has set expectations high going into Group A. Their semi-final loss to Brazil in that event, and subsequent single-goal, extra-time defeat by Spain in the third-place match, show that the hosts can compete at the highest level. And though they have fallen at the group stage in their two FIFA World Cup appearances, they have lost just two of their six finals matches.

Mexico- 2010 will be El Tri’s fifth successive finals appearance and they exited each of the last four events in the second round. Opening the tournament against the hosts will be no small task, but a budding crop of youngsters such as Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela may give the side enough pep to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1986.

France-An up-and-down qualifying campaign saw the French lose out in their group to Serbia by a point. Their away form was poor, from going down 3-1 to Austria in their first match to drawing at Romania and Serbia.

Players to Watch- Steven Pienaar (RSA), Aaron Mokoena (RSA), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (MEX), Rafael Márquez (MEX), Giovanni dos Santos (MEX), Thierry Henry (FRA), Nicolas Anelka (FRA), William Gallas (FRA), Diego Lugano (URU), Diego Forlán (URU

 

 

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