The main fact:
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The main fact:
A group with two teams that have two meaning of "football".
Coach : Rabah Saadane
Appearances : 2
Best Result : First Round, 1982 and 1986
FIFA Rank : 30st
Key : Antar Yahia, Karim Ziani.
The Desert Foxes is back in business since 1986 with few memories drawn in a tough group with Spain and Brazil at that time. It's hard to know what to expect from Algeria now. They performed well in qualifications by victory over the Egypt, but disappointing in the Africa Cup to score just one goal then was slammed back 0 - 4 by a resurgent Egypt in the quarters. Algeria is probably the weakest of this Group but doesn't mean they can't play. Lead by top goal scorers Antar Yahia and Karim Ziani, the Algerians will play a counter-attacking style to surprise any defenders, it can possibly get some points. However, with limited big game experience, their chances look small-fry.
Coach : Fabio Capello
Appearances : 12
Best Result : 1966 Champion
FIFA Rank : 8th
Key : Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney.
England is a title candidate and they should top their group, as they did through topping qualification by winning nine of ten matches. With so many cores of EPL star wanting to show their qualities like Lampard, Rooney, especially Gerrard after the disappointing season in Liverpool, for sure they would like to win the cup as well. Even without injured Beckham, Rio, maybe Ashley Cole too, this squad definitely is one of the best English sides of all time. Capello brings discipline and focus to the team and he doesn't expect to crush their rivals but win every game which means even by one goal will be fine. And the question comes with the goal keeping, who will take up the position? Last but not least, as usual, the Three Lions worst enemy will be England itself and their media.
Coach : Matjaz Kek
Appearances : 1
Cup Result : First Round, 2002
FIFA Rank : 25th
Key : Robert Koren, Milivoje Novakovic, Mirnes Sisic.
Let's be fair to Slovenia, it may be considered as a rookie in this big party. But they enter the world cup after beating European big boys Russia in a two legged playoff match, then over Czech Republic. With their strong defensive style and the stylish Milivoje Novakovic and Robert Koren could help their badge to be an upset for more famous opponents in Group C. Slovenia will put up more of a fight but is still likely to fall short. They also have major lack of experience at this level as their first appearances, but may home soon with heads held high.
Coach : Bob Bradley
Appearances : 8
Best Result : Third Place, 1930
FIFA Rank : 14th
Key : Tim Howard, Donovan, Dempsey.
Once upon a time, the USA was a bit of a joke in international soccer game. Time flies, they are suddenly seen as a talented group of players who won their 8th qualified fairly easily and topped CONCACAF. Don't be surprised if they sneak out from the Group after an interesting warm-up recently with Australia. It's inspired by attacking midfielder Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey to anchor Jozy Altidore, the Stars and Stripes looks easy to move out of the group phase at least for the third time in their histories. My special attention to Howard, as could be one of the toughest patrols in this big event.
With any reasons, this could be one of the easiest group to predict. If England doesn't make it out they should consider giving up football as their sport. England is being overrated in terms of their chances of winning the Cup, the USA has a great goalkeeper and three good midfielders. Algeria is terrible more often rather than good, Slovenia seems like they can definitely spoil that plan but turns out they both will suffer first.
Algeria and Slovenia are considered as the underdogs here with preference to counter attack and give up majority possession in order to do so. The opening match England x USA would be fun and interesting, with potential surprises happen all the time. At the end, England will probably be top of the group with perfect point. And the USA will be favored to finish the second with another good song to fans who have a hard time accepting that Americans really can play "football". Algeria and Slovenia will try to set impression once again but both are happier just to be at the World Cup.
MY ORACLE :
England (9), USA (6), Algeria (3), Slovenia (0).