Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Algeria vs USA - Preview

United States

2:00 PM GMT, June 23, 2010
Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria, South Africa

The stakes are high, as a win in this game for either side will seal their progress to the next round if England fail to beat Slovenia. The odds are stacked towards the USA as they have made it to the second round three times in their history, while Algeria have never progressed that far.

Team Stat Comparison

United StatesAlgeria
Matches Played22
Table Position24
Goal Difference0-1
Goals for *0.00.0
Goals against *0.00.0
Last 5D-DD-L
Last 5 homeL
Last 5 awayD-DD
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: United States | Algeria

Competition Stats

United StatesAlgeria
GoalsLandon Donovan 1
YellowsRobbie Findley 2Medhi Lacen 1
RedsAbdelkader Ghezzal 1
Squads: United States | Algeria

USA player to watch: Landon Donovan. Donovan is the all-time top-scorer for the United States with 43 goals in 125 caps and will equal the USA's all-time record of 11 appearances at the World Cup finals, currently held by Cobi Jones and Earnest Stewart. His pace and vision were wasted in the first half against Slovenia, but he played a vital part in the turnaround and will, once again, be the most important player for the side in the attacking third.
Algeria player to watch: Rais M'Bolhi. Having overtaken the unpredictable Faouzi Chaouchi in the starting line-up following his error against Slovenia in the opener, M'Bolhi was a solid performer against England even though he was not tested to his fullest extent. Just 24, the experience has done him the world of good and if the Algerians have realistic hopes of beating the USA and making it to the next stage, he will have to be on top form.
Key Battle: Jozy Altidore v Rafik Halliche. The focal point of the USA attack, Altidore has not lit up the World Cup thus far, but has always had an impact on the games. Having recovered fully from injury that hindered his preparations, Altidore's strength and pace up front will be a test for his opponents. Halliche was one of the stars of the African Cup of Nations and, brave and strong, will not be easy to get past. He also has youth on his side, so it could be an intriguing battle.
Trivia: Since the 1950 World Cup, the United States have lost all of their third and final matches in the opening group stage.
Stats: Algeria have scored just once in their last six matches - a penalty against the United Arab Emirates in a World Cup warm-up.
Odds: USA (2.00), Algeria (3.75) and a draw (3.50) are all available at Bet 365, but a 2-0 win for the USA comes in at 9.00.
Prediction: Algeria are tough to break down but offer little in attack. As long as Bradley gets his tactics right, they should have enough to score and pick up the win.

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