Looking ahead to World Cup qualifiers in September
The top 4 teams qualify for the World Cup. The 5th placed team enters a home-and-away playoff with the 4th placed team from the North, Central America & Caribbean group.
Brazil currently lead the group by one point from Chile (26), Paraguay (24) and Argentina (22).
The real surprises are the Chileans, who have managed to overcome the handicap of ex-Liverpool winger Mark Gonzalez to score 23 goals. We can expect to hear more about the trio which has contributed 13 so far - Alexis Sanchez, Humberto Suazo and Matias Fernandez - next year.
Expect a late surge from Argentina, who’ve been a bit inconsistent so far. They play Brazil and Paraguay in early September, while Chile take on Brazil in the second of their scheduled September games.
Argentina - Brazil
Chile - Venezuela
Colombia - Ecuador
Paraguay - Bolivia
Peru - Uruguay
Uruguay - Colombia
Venezuela - Peru
Paraguay - Argentina
Bolivia - Ecuador
Brazil - Chile
North, Central America and Caribbean
Three sides qualify directly for South Africa 2010 and the fourth-placed team takes on the fifth-placed finisher in South American qualifying.
This one looked almost done and dusted for Costa Rica until a recent heavy defeat in Honduras put their plans on hold. Now four teams are vying for the three automatic places: Costa Rica (12 pts), Honduras and USA (10) and Mexico (9).
The US has the easiest of the September fixtures, facing El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago in the space of four days. They should win both.
Costa Rica and Mexico also square up in early September. This and the US – Costa Rica clash in October are the remaining key games.
USA - El Salvador
Honduras - Trinidad and Tobago
Costa Rica - Mexico
Trinidad and Tobago - USA
El Salvador - Costa Rica
Mexico - Honduras
One team qualifies from each group.
Ghana and the Ivory Coast are looking good in their respective groups. If the latter beat Burkina Faso in early September they will be six points ahead with two games to play.
Cameroon clearly need to bring Roger Miller out of retirement. They have one point from two games and must now beat Group A leaders Gabon to stand any chance of going through.
Gabon - Cameroon
Togo - Morocco
Mozambique - Kenya
Rwanda - Egypt
Malawi - Guinea
Ivory Coast - Burkina Faso
Nigeria - Tunisia
Algeria - Zambia
Ghana - Sudan
Benin - Mali
Cameroon - Gabon
The winner plays New Zealand in the Asia/Oceania Inter-Continental Play-Off
Bahrain - Saudi Arabia in Manama
Saudi Arabia - Bahrain in Riyadh
Keep an eye out for the scores and results at World Cup Bafana Bafana 2010 from this Saturday.