Wednesday, June 23, 2010

England vs Slovenia - Preview


Group C, 14:00 GMT, June 23, 2010
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Slovenia are the shock leaders of Group C after they dismissed Algeria thanks to another goalkeeping error and then held the USA to a 2-2 draw. Confidence may have ebbed after their second-half performance against the States saw them surrender a two-goal lead, but they can take great heart from an attacking performance that had many observers in awe of their skill and team spirit.
While Slovenia can seal their progress to the second round with a point, England need to win to be certain of progressing. In fact, they desperately need to win as nothing less than a 3-3 draw would get them through if the USA somehow contrives to draw 0-0 with Algeria. Any US win, plus an England draw and the Three Lions go home in disgrace.

Team Stat Comparison

Matches Played22
Table Position13
Goal Difference10
Goals for *2.00.0
Goals against *2.00.0
Last 5D-WD-D
Last 5 homeDD-D
Last 5 awayW
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Slovenia | England

Competition Stats

GoalsRobert Koren 1Steven Gerrard 1
YellowsBojan Jokic 1Jamie Carragher 2
Squads: Slovenia | England

Slovenia player to watch: Miso Brecko. The right-back had an excellent first half against the USA, but things slipped in the second and he will be under the microscope to attack the frailties on England's left flank. He has stated that Ashley Cole is one of his role models, and will come into direct competition with the Chelsea defender as he bombs down the wing, but will have to be at his very best to stop the threat offered at the other end.
England player to watch: Matthew Upson. With Ledley King injured and Jamie Carragher suspended, the pressure falls on the West Ham man to quickly form a good partnership with Terry at the heart of the defence. Strong in the air and a committed tackler, he is not blessed with great pace but is seen as a better option than the young Michael Dawson. West Ham players have not had the best of luck in the tournament so far - Robert Green and Valon Behrami in particular - so Upson will have to battle hard to turn his side's fortunes around.
Key Battle: Marko Suler v Wayne Rooney. For nearly 50 minutes against the USA, Suler looked composed and comfortable snuffing out any attacking surges with good positioning and committed aerial play. However, as the Slovenians sat back, they were more exposed and Suler's influence waned. He will find Rooney a far tougher prospect that other strikers in the group but the Manchester United man has failed to find the back of the net in over 10 hours of action for England. Rooney's form for his country is the subject of much debate in the English media, as is his temperament for the big occasion, but if the Three Lions have any hopes of qualifying they will need him back at his best.
Trivia: In 1950, England were famously humiliated by USA - they lost to Spain and victory over Chile didn't see them qualify - while in 1958, England drew with Brazil, Soviet Union and Austria and then lost a play-off to the Soviets. These are the only two occasions England have not escaped the group stage.
Stats: England have failed to win any of their last five first round matches against a fellow European side, while Slovenia have lost just one of their last nine international games since losing 2-1 to England in a friendly in September 2009, winning seven of these matches.
Odds: Slovenia (7.50), England (1.44) and a draw (4.33) are all available at Bet 365, but Frank Lampard to score first could come in at 7.50.
Prediction: England surely can't be as bad they were against Algeria and knowing they have to win could be the spark they need to get the result. Nothing else is good enough.

Lets hope England wins this atleast..
England 2-0.

Special for Gerrard and guys

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