The Year of the Overdog
Well, I'm reconciling myself to the fact that - barring a highly unlikely Ukrainian victory over Italy - 2006 will be the World Cup without a Giant Killing.
Seven of the final eight teams can fairly be described as Big Guns. Six of them have already won a World Cup - in fact, only Uruguay is missing out of the previous winners.
Also, my innitial idea that this would be the year of Youth over Experience has been flat wrong. The teenage-heavy teams - Spain, Holland, Switzerland - have gotten a proper whooping by the Geriatric Set - France, Portugal and Ukraine.
At this point, I should probably have the decency to stop making predictions. But decency was never my strong-suit, so I'll say this: all seven of the remaining Big Guns are quite evenly matched. The one thing that might give one of them an edge over the others is home-court advantage. So I say Germany.