Friday, June 18, 2010

Slovenia vs USA - Prediction

United States

2:00 PM GMT, June 18, 2010
Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

Team Stat Comparison

SloveniaUnited States
Matches Played11
Table Position13
Goal Difference10
Goals for *0.01.0
Goals against *0.01.0
Last 5WD
Last 5 home
Last 5 awayWD
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Slovenia | United States

Competition Stats

SloveniaUnited States
GoalsRobert Koren 1Clint Dempsey 1
AssistsClint Dempsey 0
YellowsAndrej Komac 1Steve Cherundolo 1
Squads: Slovenia | United States

Slovenia player to watch: Milivoje Novakovic. A consistent performer for his club side Cologne, Novakovic has also managed to net 16 goals in 29 games for his country and carries the bulk of their attacking hopes. He uses his body well to shield the ball and, at 6' 3'', carries an aerial threat as well. He needs to time his runs better, but will provide the USA backline with a tough test. If he scores he will become the second highest scorer in Slovenian history, moving clear of retired Saso Udovic.

USA player to watch: Clint Dempsey. After being gifted a goal against England, Dempsey will find his attacking talent utilised again on the left side of midfield, with Landon Donovan on the other. Comfortable on the ball, Dempsey's pace and skill when dribbling will ensure Miso Brecko endures a tough afternoon and he will be tasked with providing a lot of the creativity in the final third.

Key battle: Samir Handanovic v Tim Howard. If Slovenia keep a clean sheet then they will have one foot in the next round, so Handanovic will have to be on top form to stop a potent USA attack. The Udinese stopper has caught the eye in Italy this season and, at 6' 5'', is rarely beaten from crosses, while he is often one for the spectacular. At the other end, Everton goalkeeper Howard injured his ribs against England and should play through the pain barrier for his country. One of the best players on the pitch in the first game, his agility and reflexes - as well as his organisation from set pieces - will play a key part in USA's defence.

Trivia: USA are the fourth CONCACAF side to face Slovenia, who have previously played friendlies against Mexico, Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago.

Stats: Slovenia have won seven of their last eight matches since losing to England in September. The USA have gone 11 consecutive matches without keeping a clean sheet.

Odds: Slovenia (3.80), USA (2.10) and the draw (3.25) are all on offer at Bet 365, but look for Landon Donovan to score first at 7.50.
Prediction: Slovenia have a real chance of qualifying if they can pull off a result here. Even a draw would be a good result, but USA should have enough in the bank to avoid an upset.

USA 2-1.

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