Friday, June 18, 2010

England vs Algeria - Prediction


6:30 PM GMT, June 18, 2010
Green Point Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa

Team Stat Comparison

Matches Played11
Table Position24
Goal Difference0-1
Goals for *1.00.0
Goals against *1.00.0
Last 5DL
Last 5 homeDL
Last 5 away
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: England | Algeria

Competition Stats

GoalsSteven Gerrard 1
YellowsSteven Gerrard 1Hassan Yebda 1
RedsAbdelkader Ghezzal 1
Squads: England | Algeria

Although this will be the first meeting between England and Algeria, the Three Lions have kept a clean sheet in four of their five World Cup encounters against African sides.

England player to watch: Gareth Barry. A gaping hole in the England midfield was left when Barry went down with an ankle injury before the tournament, and Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were left to try to fill in against USA. Barry is fit again now, so the defensive midfield slot is assured and the balance of the England side is much better. The left-footer will be alongside Lampard, with Gerrard switched to the left, and suddenly England look capable of providing more of an attacking threat.

Algeria player to watch: Hassan Yebda. The 'heart and soul' of the team, Yebda's tracking back and tigerish tackling will assist in keeping the wing threat of England down. But he also has his own box of tricks and is a very capable crosser and dribbler of the ball. While he would want more in terms of a goal return, how he deals with Gerrard on the left of the midfield will determine how Algeria compete.

Key battle: Robert Green v David James v Joe Hart v Faouzi Chaouchi. A rather odd battle perhaps, but whichever England goalkeeper gets the nod in the end will have his hands full with the media spotlight and will be under pressure not to make a mistake. Green is expected to keep the gloves, despite his error against USA and conventional wisdom suggests James will take his place if he is dropped, although Hart has been the man in form of late. Algeria's Chaouchi is under his own pressure after his mistake against Slovenia gifted them the win, so the 'keepers at both ends of the pitch will be key to the game.
rivia: Algeria's national anthem is called "Qassaman" - (The Pledge). Qassaman was written during Algeria's struggle for independence from French colonial rule. Seventeen of the 23 Algerian players were born in France.

Stats: England have never lost against an African team: 11 wins and four draws, while Algeria have never kept a clean sheet in seven World Cup matches.

Odds: England (1.25), Algeria (12.00) and the draw (6.25) are all on offer at Bet 365, but Steven Gerrard to score last at 8.00 looks a nice bet.

Prediction: England stuttered a bit in the first game, but then so did Algeria. If England get an early goal it will settle the nerves, otherwise it will be tough to break down the Algerian side.

England 2-0.

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