The first World Cup to take place on the continent of Africa has fans there more excited than their usual frenzy for football, so what are the chances of one of their six entrants going deep into the tournament?
Hosts South Africa have been going through some troubled times on the pitch and sadly some fans are already deciding what team to back after their beloved Bafana Bafana have bowed out of the competition.
But World Cup 2010 Betting suggets that they are no certainties to exit in the opening round, despite a relatively tough draw against France, Mexico and Uruguay which sees them as Group A outsiders.
Although their squad lacks top level experience, especially in the absence of the omitted Benni McCarthy, they have home advantage, a massive fan-base and in their two Central/South American rivals, face two teams with just as many question marks.
While it might be difficult for them to progress, they will certainly give it a fight, as will Nigeria in Group B, a team who find themselves in a position as almost even-money shots to go through with most World Cup betting odds.
A really solid team with plenty of top-flight European experience, if they can get the goals they will need from the likes of Obafemi Martins and Yakubu, they have every chance of seeing off the challenge of Greece and South Korea, if you assume that a somewhat fallible Argentina should progress.
Group C looks far too tough for an Algeria side that has little in the way of form or star quality, and in Group D it is going to be difficult for Ghana to make it through when they are up against strong teams in Germany, Australia and Serbia – that is a four-team race if ever there was one and the loss of Michael Essien was a big blow.
Cameroon should go well in Group E but again it is not an easy group they find themselves in – two European powers in Holland and, to a lesser extent, Denmark, while Japan should not be overlooked based on their pre-tournament performance against England, albeit eventually in unlucky defeat.
And that leaves us with the Ivory Coast, who should really be the continent’s best hope of glory but who have been handed what has to go down as a nightmare draw.
Their Group F opponents basically mean that a win over either Brazil or Portugal is going to be needed to get through to the second round where there is every chance they could come up against Spain! And that is just the opening two rounds – what a story it would be if the Elephants went all the way.