Let’s break it down:
Canada vs. Spain (Indoor Hard)
Surprisingly, Canada look the stronger team to me since we’re indoors. If Pospisil or Dancevic could sneak a win then I think Nestor can do the rest in the doubles. Spain are without their top 2, so all the pressure rests on Almagro and probably Marc Lopez to pull off a doubles result. This one should be good.
Team Canada: Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Frank Dancevic, Daniel Nester
Team Spain: Nico Almagro, Marcel Granollers, Marc Lopez, Albert Ramos
PREDICTION: Canada 3 Spain 2
Italy vs. Croatia (Indoor Clay)
Italy have strength in numbers these days, which is perfect for Davis Cup action. All are good clay courters with solid singles pedigree while Croatia rely too heavily on Cilic and Dodig. With no serious doubles specialist in the Croatian line up, I think Italy will come through.
Team Italy: Andreas Seppi, Fabio Fognini, Paolo Lorenzi, Simone Bolleli
Team Croatia: Marin Cilic, Ivan Dodig, Antonio Veic, Mate Pavic
PREDICTION: Italy 3 Croatia 2
Belgium vs. Serbia (Indoor Clay)
Belgium have home advantage, but Serbia are bringing the big guns to town and will too much firepower for the Belgians. Goffin might put up some resistance but with a Novak fueled team, it’s Serbia all the way.
Team Belgium: David Goffin, Steve Darcis, Ruben Bemelmans, Olivier Rochus
Team Serbia: Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic, Victor Troicki, Nenad Zimonjic
PREDICTION: Serbia 4 Belgium 1
USA vs. Brazil (Indoor Hard)
It’s a tough assignment for the Brazilians facing hard court specialists in their own back yard. Belucci can play but this is not clay, so I predict a cakewalk for the Americans. Isner was troubled by injury but even still, the US can draw on a deep bench.
Team USA: John Isner, Sam Querry, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan
Team Brazil: Thomaz Belucci, Thiago Alves, Bruno Soares, Marcelo Melo
PREDICTION: USA 5 Brazil 0
France vs. Israel (Indoor Hard)
A lop-sided affair here, with a full strength French side taking on a solid team but with no serious threats. All the French players are in form to boot. The doubles could be mildly interesting so I will give the Israelis a point, which is generous.
Team France: Jo Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Michael Llodra, Julien Benneteau
Team Israel: Dudi Sela, Amir Weintraub, Jonathan Erlich, Andy Ram
PREDICTION: France 4 Israel 1
Argentina vs. Germany (Outdoor Clay)
An even match up here, with the Argentines having a slight advantage being at home on clay, where they are notoriously hard to beat. Monaco has carried an injury and Del Potro opted out, so the Germans must sense an opportunity. Still, a big ask however.
Team Argentina: Juan Monaco, Horacio Zeballos, David Nalbandian, Carlos Berlocq
Team Germany: Phillip Kohlschreiber, Florian Mayer, Tobias Kamke, Christopher Kas
PREDICTION: Argentina 3 Germany 2
Kazakhstan vs. Austria (Indoor Clay)
The Austrians bring considerably more experience to the table in this match up, particularly with Melzer and Knowle. It will be a tight match but I don’t think the Kazakhs have quite enough game to take down a multi-skilled Austrian team.
Team Kazakhstan: Mikhail Kukushkin, Andrey Golubev, Evgeny Korolev, Yuri Schukin
Team Austria: Jurgen Melzer, Andreas Haider Maurer, Alex Peya, Julian Knowle
PREDICTION: Austria 4 Kazakhstan 1
Switzerland vs. Czech Republic (Indoor Hard)
Even with Federer, this is a tough assignment for Swiss. The defending champion Czechs lost Stepanek to a neck operation so a singles upset could be in the making. Wawrinka played the match of his life in Australia, so he will look to stay red hot.
Team Switzerland: Stan Wawrinka, Michael Lammer, Marco Chiudinelli, Henri Laaksonen
Team Czech Republic: Tomas Berdych, , Lukas Rosol, Ivo Minar
PREDICTION: Czech Republic 3 Switzerland 2