The big surprise here is the absence of Nigerian and Cameroon, who've acquitted themselves very well in the last few world cups.
- Ghana (welcome back!)
- Ivory Coast
This group shapes up according to form. No real surprises here, as Bahrain loses to Trinidad & Tobago in a playoff. I guess they didn't deserve five spots from Asia after all.
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
Always the largest contingent. I don't want to be around if Croatia ends up playing Serbia & Montenegro. Surprises? The lack of Ireland and Denmark, who had been qualifying regularly.
- Czech Republic
- Germany (Hosts)
- Serbia & Montenegro
The group I know the most about obviously. The U.S. wins and qualifies earlier than they have during their modern run. I'd relish another game against Mexico on this stage. Congrats to the Soca Warriors.
- Costa Rica
- Trinidad & Tobago (their first trip)
- United States (finishing first in their region)
This really surprises me. I thought Uruguay would take care of them without a problem. Welcome back anyway Socceroos.
- Australia (after a 32 year drought)
Losing that playoff has to hurt a bit. Argentina and Brazil are always favorites.