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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

USA vs ALGERIA >>> Match Preview


The stakes are high, as a win in this game for either side will seal their progress to the next round if England fail to beat Slovenia. The odds are stacked towards the USA as they have made it to the second round three times in their history, while Algeria have never progressed that far. With a second-half performance in the 2-2 draw against Slovenia to take heart from, the USA's biggest challenge will be to banish the painful memory of the first half, and also ignore the vitriol spouted in the press from the disallowed goal that would have put them in a much better position to qualify.

How they react in their first foray back onto the pitch since that incident will be key to their hopes of qualification, but they have a good recent record against African sides, winning two out of two and keeping a clean sheet in the process.

Algeria go into their third and final group match buoyed by the unexpected point taken against England, a result which kept the north Africans in the hunt following their opening defeat by Slovenia. Coach Rabah Saadane’s principal concern remains his side’s fragile finishing ability. The only team in the group to have not yet found the net, statistical analysis of Algeria’s first two matches reveals a sum total of three shots on target, clearly inadequate at this level.
USA player to watch: Landon Donovan.
Donovan is the all-time top-scorer for the United States with 43 goals in 125 caps and will equal the USA's all-time record of 11 appearances at the World Cup finals, currently held by Cobi Jones and Earnest Stewart. His pace and vision were wasted in the first half against Slovenia, but he played a vital part in the turnaround and will, once again, be the most important player for the side in the attacking third.
Algeria player to watch: Rais M'Bolhi
Having overtaken the unpredictable Faouzi Chaouchi in the starting line-up following his error against Slovenia in the opener, M'Bolhi was a solid performer against England even though he was not tested to his fullest extent. Just 24, the experience has done him the world of good and if the Algerians have realistic hopes of beating the USA and making it to the next stage, he will have to be on top form.

Key Battle: Jozy Altidore v Rafik Halliche

The focal point of the USA attack, Altidore has not lit up the World Cup thus far, but has always had an impact on the games. Having recovered fully from injury that hindered his preparations, Altidore's strength and pace up front will be a test for his opponents. Halliche was one of the stars of the African Cup of Nations and, brave and strong, will not be easy to get past. He also has youth on his side, so it could be an intriguing battle.

Algeria are tough to break down but offer little in attack. As long as Bradley gets his tactics right, they should have enough to score and pick up the win.



Take ALGERIA + 1/2 (Main Bet)
Take a DRAW
0 - 0
1 - 1
(Small Fun Bets)
Odds Centre >>> www.asianbookie.com

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