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Sunday, June 13, 2010

ALGERIA vs SLOVENIA >>> Match Previews

Plus qualifying chance into last 16; Loser homeward bound
It's now or never
With England and the United States firmly installed as favourites to advance from Group C, both Algeria and Slovenia will see this game as their chance to stake a claim for a place in the top two should one of the others slip up.

A point is likely to be no use to either side, which means it may be an open match with both sides on the attack. That said the two teams are very similar in style, though Slovenia can claim to have a more sturdy defence and a better build-up to the finals.
Slovenia will look to captain Robert Koren to pull the strings in the centre of the park as their playmaker, with Milivoje Novakovic an effective though unspectacular striker. Novakovic has the ability to hold the ball up, rarely giving away possession.

Slovenia are at their second World Cup finals, having lost all three matches and finishing bottom of their group in 2002, while Algeria, who qualified for the finals with a play-off victory against arch-rivals Egypt, previously reached the finals in 1982 and 1986 but have never made it beyond the group stage. The loss of Mourad Meghni, a gifted playmaker, to a knee injury before the tournament was a major blow.

Algeria's build-up has been marred by internal squabbling, disciplinary problems and injuries. Coach Rabah Saadane has dropped skipper Yazid Mansouri due to poor form and Antar Yahia will now wear the armband with Hassan Yebda coming into the team.

Algeria player in focus: Madjid Bougherra.
The Rangers defender was a doubt for the finals due to injury, but has recovered to take his place in the squad and will be a vital player at both ends of the pitch. A cultured, ball-playing defender, do not be surprised to see him bring it out from the back. Many consider Bougherra to be one of the best defenders in Africa.

Slovenia player in focus: Robert Koren.
Without a club after being released by West Bromwich Albion last month, Koren is in the shop window as much as any player at the World Cup finals. The creative spark in the midfield, Slovenia will look to move the ball through Koren when in attack mode. Being made captain has been the making of the player on the international stage.

Key battle: Karim Ziani v Aleksandar Radosavljevic

Radosavljevic has emerged from the shadows to become an important player for Slovenia, acting as the holding presence in the centre to Koren's creativity. Radosavljevic ability to limit the influence of Ziani throughout the match may have a major bearing on this game. With Slovenia having a strong defence, nullifying the attacking impetus of Ziani could set up a vital victory.

Trivia: On every national team shirt that Yazid Mansouri wears, he writes a tribute to his father who is the president of an organisation in France that speaks up for those suffering from intolerance to gluten.
Stats: Slovenia only conceded 4 goals in 10 games in their qualification for the World Cup. Algeria have never kept a clean sheet at the World Cup finals.


The winner in this one will take a huge step towards qualification for the next round seeing as England and the United States only managed a draw between themselves yesterday. 3 points for either team today will take them to the top of the group and that should prove great incentive to go all out. Algeria are playing in only their third World Cup and they will be keen to get off to a good start against a Slovenia side that they may very well think are the closest in standard to themselves. The Algerians come into this match on the back of some lackluster results though. They have lost 5 of their last 7 internationals, beating only Libya and the UAE. They need buckle up their ideas against Slovenia that's for sure. Slovenia have a point to prove. Their first World Cup experience came in 2002 but it was an embarrassment. They lost all 3 games in that tournament against Spain, South Africa and Paraguay, and they will do well to pick up their first World Cup win ever today.

The Slovenians are hot. They have won 6 of their last 7 internationals and they have been led very well by Milivoje Novakovic upfront.




Take SLOVENIA give 1/4

Take OVER 2 (Total Goals scored) odds 2.075

Internet odds link below


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