Recaps and game analysis to follow one or two hours after each match.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Group C: Slovenia

To many, Slovenia is simply a team happy to be at the World Cup, but this doesn't mean one should discount them. During qualification, little was thought about them, but the world took some notice when the team gained some good results to edge out the Czech Republic and Poland, then even upset Russia in a playoff to book a ticket to South Africa.

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.

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