The Desert Foxes of Algeria enter this world cup as underdogs to make it through the group stage maybe even to win a game. Algeria made it to the world cup by beating a very tough Egyptian squad. Although not admitted by Algeria they are just happy to be in the world cup, the desert foxes have not been in it since 1982 where they were eliminated unjustly by the Germans, but that is another story.
This will be the first and last time that a coca cola championship league player will have an impact on a world cup, but Nadir Belhadj was one a great full back in the premier league. But suffered some injury setbacks this year and was also hurt by Portsmouth’s pathetic season. If Belhadj returns to his great form of 2 years ago the Desert Foxes may entertain and even have a surprise or two up their sleeve.
Slovenia enters the 2010 World Cup with more experience and a stingy defence. Slovenia had the best defensive record in qualifying. Much of this can be credited to the tactics of coach Matjaz Kek who emphasizes defense first football. Slovenia are expected to do much better this World Cup than they did in 2002 when they didn’t even get a point. This time they are expected to get out of the group and with their defensive style it wont be shocking.
Robert Koren was the inspiring force in Slovenia’s play off win against Russia. Koren formally of West Brom of the Premier League even though he played the most games for the Baggies. Known as the man who can play any position in the midfield, Koren like Slovenia’s tactics will play a holding midfielder role but will also be expected to help out in attack. If Koren is successful Slovenia may be able to make it out of Group C.
After a failure of not qualifying for Euro 2008 Steve McClaren was rightfully sacked, after the McClaren firing the English hired Fabio Capello and stopped underachieving. Although the English have suffered a few setbacks with injuries to David Beckham, and more importantly Captain Rio Ferdinand, for a team with such success during qualifying they had to go through a lot of turmoil with John Terry deciding it would be smart to sleep with Ex England player Wayne Bridge’s Ex.
Another Wayne will be the key for England. Coming off the season of his life Wayne Rooney where he scored 34 goals Wazza as he is affectionately known by his fans has to lead England’s frontline a job he hasn’t had to do ever. If England are to win the World Cup Rooney will have to have a player of the tournament performance and maybe even do the impossible and score in a Penalty shoot out as it always seems that’s what knocks England out of Major tournaments.
The Yanks enter this tournament with huge expectations after their successful Confederation Cup tournament last year where they beat then Number 1 Spain and lost in a heart breaker to Brazil.The Yanks are expected by their fans to make the second round and even surprise a few teams. The big game for the US is their game against Slovenia, which could end up being the decider for second in the group. But the US could also finish first if they are able to upset the English like they did 60 years ago.
Who was the player that scored that goal that beat England? Joe Gaetjans a Hatian born American. In 2010 the Americans have another Hatian born American Striker. Jozy Altidore was crucial for the Americans in their Confederation Cup run. And when he is in prime form he can be one of the best pure strikers in the world, and may even be able to spark another famous win for the Americans.