Date: 9th December 2005 at 10:52pm
Written by:

For the first time ever, Wigan Athletic fans will be able to look forward to seeing some of our players in the World Cup next year.

The contenders are:-

For Australia, Josip Skoko is almost certain to feature plus there is still an outside chance of John Filan being recalled to the Socceroos if he shows good form and stays injury free over the next 6 months. They play in group F and have a good chance of qualifying with Croatia and Japan in the same group. I doubt if they will finish above Brazil though.

Group F

Brazil
Croatia
Australia
Japan

For Sweden, Andreas Johansson has played a number of times but he inclusion in the World Cup squad depends on him breaking into the Latics first team and becoming a regular. They have a small matter of England to overcome but should qualify above Paraguay and Trinidad.

For England, we have a number of contenders who may just make it into the squad if they catch Sven’s eye over the next few months. Leighton Baines must be the best chance as he is a regular in the under 21s and is that rarity a good English left-footer. Jimmy Bullard has an outside chance if he continues to impress, but with Gerrard and Lampard ahead of him he would be a squad player at best.

Group B

England
Paraguay
Trinidad & Tobago
Sweden

For Holland, Arjan De Zeeuw has been just out of contention for the international team for the last few years. Who knows, if they have a couple of injuries he might just sneak in. And with Ivory coast and Serbia in their group they should stand a good chance of getting through to the next round.

Group C

Argentina
Ivory Coast
Serbia & Montenegro
Holland

But then again, who knows who we might sign in January?