Thursday, June 3, 2010

World Cup - Group C Preview

Group C

USA – I stick by my previous post about the USA and the tactics and starting line-up I presented there. Maybe Torres can come in for Clark. Here's to hoping that the US goes into their final game against Algeria on equal or greater points and goal differential. The bigger questions is, should I go to the wedding I've accepted invitation to on June 12th at 2:00pm CST? Should I skip the wedding? Watch the first have live and come to the wedding late? Or go to the entire thing and watch on DVR? Big decisions.

Player to Watch – Jozy Altidore – In my scheme, Altidore is the only true striker and many are saying he is too inexperienced to have the lone striker role. I disagree. C'mon you Yanks!

England – I've also already given my thoughts on England in a previous post. They have a strong squad and should win the group without trouble. They are probably already looking on to the next couple rounds.

Player to Watch – Gareth Barry – I think much of the success of England will come down to the health of Gareth Barry. It's not that he is that great of a player, only that he is a perfect fit into the system. His holding roll in the center allows much more freedom for Lampard, Gerrard, and Lennon.

Algeria – Algeria are an inconsistent team, but could be good enough to take second place in the group. They beat Egypt to get here, so you know they are a strong side. They have both Africa and the Arab world rooting for them and would love to take down the US.

Player to Watch – Hassan Yebda – Looked good in flashes for Portsmouth and has the strength and speed that could trouble the US and England.

Slovenia- Smallest nation in the World Cup with a population of just over 2 million. This team really lacks standout players and will try to get by on defense and win games 1-0. That is a tough strategy for the World Cup, but may be the best Slovenia can hope for.

Player to Watch – Samir Handanovic – It’s not often the player to watch is a goalkeeper, but Slovenia will need for the young 'keeper to be on his game for any chance of progressing. He has been impressive in Italy this season.

Prediction: Anything less than first for England will be a huge, huge disappointment for England. Anything less than the second round will be a huge, huge disappointment for the US. This is a great opportunity for both of them. The US seems to perform best in an underdog role and a counter attacking style, but they will have to force the action against Slovenia and Algeria and that should make things interesting. How about they just forego the suspense and take all three points from England? Sounds good to me. Either way, the draw should be great for the US – the marquee game versus England which the media will eat up and two teams they should beat. Better do it America.

England 9

US 6

Algeria 3

Slovenia 0

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