pre-world cup performance does not guarantee a world cup win. we can take the example of 2002 Japan Korea world cup, where Brazil struggled to qualify to become one of 32 nations to play the tournament, and then won the world cup for fifth time ! France and Argentina were the top favorites to win the cup, but they were eliminated in the first round. and what South Korea did? they played in the semi-final!
well, temperament will be the name of the game as soon as the world cup begins. tradition will come second. for such reasons, only 5 countries lifted the world cup for 15 times out of 17 tournaments followed by 2 countries won one time each.
in my opinion, top contenders of this Germany 2006 are Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Italy. Holland could be the dark horse of the tournamentand hence, should be watch out carefully. If Wayne Rooney becomes match fit to play, England should be considered as a top contender too.
Any of the above top contenders could win the world cup 2006.