Monday, June 7, 2010
Group C: Slovenia
After twelve games in qualification (including playoffs) Slovenia only gave up five goals! The reason was for their stellar defense which shocked other nations and put them off guard. Although it is not attractive soccer, if they continue to play the way they have then they could be a major upset in the tournament. By frustrating attackers, and neutralizing opposing midfield players with constant possession, Slovenia has the ability to possibly sneak into the round of sixteen knockout stage.
However, it must be noted that in qualification their opponents lacked out and out strikers. Arshavin of Russia was probably the closest to that mantle, but even he does not have the experience as England's lineup, or a few players from the United States and Algeria squads. The goal for Slovenia will be to not get intimidated and keep playing the style they have become accustomed to.
Key Players: Robert Koren (pictured) for West Bromwich Albion (recently promoted to the English Premier League), and Miso Brecko of Koln in the Bundesliga, both defenders, are the anchor for the backline and the reason for a lot of the teams success. If both can stave off energy and keep their good partnership working, then strikers such as England's Wayne Rooney and USA's Landon Donovon could become a non-factor.
My Prediction: Group C 4th Place.