The field is almost set for the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brasil. This is the small tune-up tournament held 12 months before the World Cup in the host country.
UNKNOWN - CAF Champion
The winner of the CAF African Nations Cup, which is to be played in South Africa in 2013
Japan - AFC Champion
Italy - UEFA Champion - default qualifier due to Spain having automatic defending champion spot
Mexico - CONCACAF Champion
Tahiti - OFC Champion
Uruguay - CONMEBOL Champion
Spain - Defending World Cup Champions - automatic qualifier
Brasil - Host nation automatic qualifier
From what I just witnessed since June 8th, I do not expect Netherlands or Germany to go home early in the next World Cup in Brasil 2014.
The Dutch have too much pride to have exited the Euro 2012 with such a poor performance, and then fail again at a second major tournament in a row. Not after cruising to the South Africa 2010 World Cup Finals against Spain only to lose 1-0 in extra time. The crafty Andrés Iniesta netted the tournament winner for Spain.
While Germany did make it to the semi-finals against Italy, committing critical mistakes at the wrong time, they did not put the ball in the net with the chances they created. The penalty spot kick was a gimme with Ozil shooting. Germany had worked too hard in the final 20 minutes to form any threatening attacks after Germany’s first and only goal at the 91’ mark.
The Netherlands need more young strikers and outside back players. Germany is so stacked, sometimes it is difficult to play the right players at the right time. The match Germany lost to Italy was the most opportune time to bring on Mario Goetze and allow him International minutes that would have had an impact on his development leading up to World Cup Qualifying which begins in Europe during September.
I envision Goetze to be a big part of the German lineup at the next major international tournament in 2014. Ozil, Khedira, Neuer, Boateng, and Kroos will join Goetze as the young core that will lead Germany deep into the next World Cup tournament.