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TIt might be too early to say this in these qualifiers, but it looks like to me that Holland is back to where they should be. It has been about 15 months since Holland was more than shockingly kicked out of the 2002 World Cup Qualifying Round and it seems as though Holland has bounced back as they have won their first two matches in these qualifiers: a 3-0 victory over Belarus and another 3-0 win over a tougher Austrian side. Led by manager Dick Advocaat, this squad is full of talent. Edgar Davids and Clarence Seedorf have done very well in the midfield, and Patrick Kluivert, Ruud van Nistelrooij, and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink have played extremely well up front as well.

To me, the only team that has a chance at beating out Holland for first in the group is the Czech Republic. They too have won their first two matches: a 2-0 defeat of Moldova, and another 2-0 victory over Belarus. Although they barely missed out on reaching the 2002 World Cup Finals, they still are a strong team. Experience comes from their great midfielder Pavel Nedved and the youngster Milan Baros has been playing superb up front for the Czechs.

Austria has done well too, but just does not have what it takes to grab a spot I think. Ever since their collapse to Turkey in the 2002 World Cup Qualifying Round, this side has had a difficult time winning, especially against the better than average teams. A great example of this was their recent 3-0 loss to Holland in these qualifiers this past October which has since put a dent in their qualifying campaign. Moldova and Belarus have both played extremely poorly so far, and a chance of a revival is very slim.