As we look ahead to July’s Copa America, here’s the final part of our preview by the wonderful Ed Malyon, looking at Group C.

What could have been the most open and competitive group has been weakened by the fact that this won’t be a full Mexico side competing in the Copa America. As a CONCACAF member they are required to play their strongest squad possible in the Gold Cup being held in the USA in June. Therefore, the squad is largely made up of under-22s, and further affected by the drug suspensions handed out to several Mexican internationals in early June.

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Here at GFS HQ we are always willing to help out fellow bloggers/writers when they have a good idea. So when Gareth Llewellyn-Stevens came to us with the idea of a Women’s Football podcast, we were happy to help out.

We are happy to introduce “Episode 1 of Women’s Football Weekly – World Cup Preview”

Gareth Llewellyn-Stevens is the host of the program on the show this week is John Burn-Murdoch, former editor of the Durham University student newspaper, as we preview the sixth Women’s World Cup starting on Sunday in Germany, running through the four groups, key players to watch out for, and our predictions for the knockout stages of the most-eagerly anticipated competitions in women’s football.

Here is the link to subscribe to the gibfootballshow feed on iTunes.

To subscribe via other means click here. And if you want to download directly “right-click” here

You can also follow Gareth and John on twitter.

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As we look ahead to July’s Copa America, here’s the second of our three-part preview by the wonderful Ed Malyon, looking at Group B.

There’s not much to say about Brazil that hasn’t been said previously. Mano Menezes is currently using the 4-2-3-1 that’s been very popular in domestic football in the last 18 months. It allows the wealth of attacking talent to all fit into the XI with, of course, plenty in reserve. Santos starlet Neymar plays on the left of the attacking three, most probably alongside Robinho and former Manchester City man, Elano.

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Unfortunately I can’t keep up with the Le Beau Jeu podcasts but who knows what will happen in the New Year. My love for Ligue 1 has not gone though so without further a due, here I go with my Ligue 1 previews and predictions.

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The Bundesliga got off to a fantastic start last night, Steve McLaren was only minutes away from an impressive result at the Allianz Arena, the first English manager to appear in the Germany top division nearly left Munich with a point, however Bastian Schweinsteiger stole all three points for the title favourites.

Another 6 games today in what is a very exciting first weeks of fixtures Hoffenheim take on Werder Bremen and Raul and the rest of his Schalke team mates travel to Hamburg to take on Ruud van Nistlerooy and co.

Here at gibfootballshow times is short, so instead of writing a full Bundesliga preview, here are links to two of the best previews that can be found anywhere.

Bundesbag previews all the teams in his two part feature for the Futbol Fairground website, there is also a podcast which you can download, a really good review, I especially like the club merchandise pictures depicting each team, I will be tuning into the podcast myself today, so go to their site and have a listen.

The wonderful guys at World Football Columns give you a very indepth preview of their thoughts for the coming Bundesliga season, definitely worth a read if you want the low down before the kick-offs today.

I hope you enjoy the two previews I have put the links up for, and more importantly you tune in and enjoy the football, my tips for the season have to be Bayern Munich, they are too strong a team for anyone to cause them trouble over the course of the season, Werder, Wolfsburg and Schalke to complete the top four.

Auf wiedersehen

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3 games that I am actually looking forward to today, got New Zealand v Slovakia, I admit I know very little of the New Zealand team, Chris Killen, Rory Fallon, Ryan Nelsen and that’s it so will be interesting to see them play, Slovakia I think have a chance to shock a few times, Martin Hamsik is a quality player, Vittek upfront is great in the air, not seen the teams yet, so don’t know who’s playing.

Then we have Ivory Coast v Portugal, what a game this could be, 2 very strong teams and this match could guarentee 2nd place in the group, rumours are Drogba will play, an Ivory Coast team packed with stars against what is to me a Portugal team rebuilding after their Golden Era but they still have quality players.

Then it’s a match I am really looking forward to Brazil v North Korea, so many memories watching Brazil at World Cups, against a team that is the unknown entity, not one household name player, but they will have the eyes of a nation on them….only if they win, North Korea will only be shown the game back home if they win apparently, which is such a shame, can they pull off a shock like they did in ’66

**Players to Watch**

1.Vladimir Weiss (Slovakia) – Hot young prospect and the coachs son, was on loan at Bolton from Man City this season, plays on the wing, has alot of skill, great platform for him to shine.

2.Martin Hamsik (Slovakia) – The Napoli forward is a great player, likes to play off the front man, has an eye for goal, great technique, if he played for one of the top nations the media would be purring over him.

3.Robert Vittek (Slovakia) - the former Nuremberg and Lille front man is a great target man, holds the ball up well, great in the air, his best days may be behind him, but a player you still need to give respect to.

4.Chris Killen (New Zealand) – Didn’t have the best time at Celtic but his Hibs scoring record was very impressive, could lead the All Whites attack, but he hasn’t exactly set the league alight in Middlesbrough, could this be his stage.

5.Gervinho (Ivory Coast) - The Lille winger has had a great season, after a slow start he exploded, with his blistering pace and ability to score a great foil for Drogba, Looking forward to seeing him reproduce his club form for the world to see.

6.Michel Bastos (Brazil) - Following the great tradition of Brazilian Left Backs next comes Bastos, who is actually a Left Winger for his club Lyon but will suit Brazil’s style of pushing forward, he has an absoulte rocket of a left foot and will let fly if he gets the chance, and will take over the set-pieces, I predict a “next Roberto Carlos reference from the commentators

7.Ramires (Brazil) - I hope Ramires comes on at some stage today, Dunga has been playing Elano I prefer Ramires in the midfield he charges forward but defends well also, gives his all, powerful running and showed he can score in the game against Tanzania, the Benfica man could be the missing piece of this Brazilian jigsaw.

8.Jong Tae-Se (North Korea) - Never seen him play, but I read that he promised he would score in every game he played at this World Cup, so he’s made the claim, let’s see if he can deliver, I refuse to believe that they can be as bad as people think they will, time will tell.

**Predictions**

NEW ZEALAND 0 – 2 SLOVAKIA

IVORY COAST 2 – 1 PORTUGAL

BRAZIL 4 – 0 NORTH KOREA

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