2010 FIFA World Cup Preview: Part 3 of 8

By Domenic Favata


England: Warmly backed to have a real crack at this year’s title. Coach Fabio Capello expects big things from his side that boasts the names Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard and so on. There attacking style will see them progress onto the round of 16 and could do some damage there. They have the players, the coach and the fans, but the question is, do they have the spirit and commitment to win as a team?

Player to Watch: Wayne Rooney (Attacker) The Man United hero has had his best year of his career. Scoring 30 odd goals in the season, if he can transfer his club level to country, England’s hopes of winning a World Cup will sky rocket.

USA: The edgy Americans had a good qualification campaign, a good Confederations cup, but a humiliating Gold Cup (North & South American countries tournament), with a 5-0 hammering to Mexico. Critics have questioned the depth and quality in their squad, but on their day, the Americans could be a threat to many teams.

Player to Watch: Clint Dempsey (Midfielder) Dempsey was having his best ever year at Fulham, but the injury curse stroke resulting in a lengthy spell. Fit and firing again, Dempsey could be the key to the Americans progressing through to the knockout stages.

Algeria: The only Arab- nation in the tournament will be eager to impress their fans. Not too much is expected in this tough group. The Algerians lack firepower up front as they did not score heavily in qualification. A solid defence kept them going, which eventually propelled them into the finals.

Player to Watch: Faouzi Chaouchi (Goalkeeper) The prodigy of Algerian football became an instant national hero after his superb display in the World Cup playoff against Egypt. Look for him to take the mantelpiece of number one goalkeeper

Slovenia: The team that is not known for their stars, but for their team ethic and commitment to one another. Beat Russia in the playoffs and could prove a tough opponent for some. They are good on the ball and a slick passing unit, but can they stand up where it matters, at the World Cup finals.

Player to Watch: Milivoje Novakovic (Attacker) Five goals in twelve qualifying matches is not a bad return for the thirty year old veteran. Nicknamed the ‘Supa Nova’ led the way for his tiny nation to make a second World Cup finals.

My tips: England and USA to progress through to round of 16


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