YOOOAdrian’s 2010 World Cup Preview- Group C

ALGERIA

Coach Rabah Saadane gave many of his top stars a substantial amount of rest since the African Nations Cup back in January.  This is not the smartest idea in my opinion.  How is this team going to be fit enough for 90 minutes against this particular group.  We’ll see if Operation Desert Foxes pays off. 

They’re most likely just happy to be in the final 32 after an unexpected playoff win against Egypt.

Projected Lineup

  • GK- Lonas Gaouaoui
  • LB- Nadir Belhadj
  • CB- Rafik Halliche
  • CB- Majid Bougherra
  • RB- Antar Yahia
  • LM- Karim Matmour
  • LCM- Djamal Abdoun
  • CM-Yazid Mansouri
  •  RCM- Hassan Yebda
  • RM- Karim Ziani
  • CF- Abdelkader Ghezzzal

Off The Pine

  • F- Rafik Saifi
  • F- Rafik Djebour
  • D- Carl Medjeri

Formation- 4-5-1

Strategy

You can write a lot of pages for a book, but without a spine, you can’t put the book together.  Algeria has talent in the back and the midfield, but they don’t have a scorer and the spine they need to put the book together.  Ziani will provide plenty of flair and some appetizing crosses, but will someone be able to finish?

(Karim Ziani)

3 Players to Watch

  1. Karim Ziani- You know Hot Sauce and the And 1 mixtape.  If futbol had an And 1 mixtape, Ziani would be on the team.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOO!!!
  2.  Lonas Gaouaoui- Um, can I buy a vowel, do you know how much bank Wheel of Fortune would make using Lonas’ last name in a round.
  3. Majid Bougherra- One of the best central backs in Scotland.  He plays for the Rangers.

Schedule

  • 6/13- Slovenia
  • 6/18- England
  • 6/23- United States

Odds- 200-1

FIFA RANK- 30

ENGLAND

Who’s the wanker, who’s the wanker.  I swear, English futbol fans come up with some of the greatest sports chants in the history of mankind.  You can sing along if you’d like!  For example, if your a girl and your rooting against England all of the wacked, intoxicated English fans start singing (way out of tune by the way) does your boyfriend, does your boyfriend, does your boyfriend know your here.  In order for it to work, you have to specialize in bellowing out a deep english accent.  I love Joe Cole’s little song, he’s here, he’s there he’s everyf-ckin where, JOE COLE, JOE COLE!!!  You have to keep a nice rhythm with your handclap too, thats vitally important.  So, if you hate Tottenham please stand up, please stand up.

Projected Starting Lineup

  • GK- Robert Green
  • LB- Ashley Cole
  • CB- Jamie Carragher
  • CB- John Terry
  • RB- Glen Johnson
  • LM- Steven Gerrard
  • CM- Frank Lampard
  • CM- Garreth Barry
  • RM- Aaron Lennon
  • LF- Wayne Rooney
  • RF- Emile Heskey

Off the Pine

  • F- Peter Crouch
  • M- Michael Carrick
  • M- Shaun Wright-Phillips

Formation- 4-4-2

Strategy

Even though the formation is a 4-4-2, it’s more like a 4-2-3-1.  Like a pick and roll in basketball, the striker Heskey acts like an offensive lineman as he creates space for Rooney to operate.  Rooney roams around where he waits to receive a pass from the midfield, or the attacking flank backs.

(Wayne Rooney)

3 Players to Watch

  1. Wayne Rooney- On the ugliest sports athlete all-time list, Rooney comes in at number 2 behind the one and only Sam Cassell.  In all seriousness, Rooney is a top 5 player in the world.  He’s a fantastic finisher and he’s a student of the game.
  2. Steven Gerrard- So smooth on the pitch, he plays like a point-guard on the field.
  3. Glen Johnson- This is a true story.  Did you know that Johnson was once arrested for stealing a toilet seat. YEA, a god-damn toilet seat.  What a bloody wanker.  The only way I’m stealing a toilet seat is if it was once occupied by Chuck Norris.

Schedule

  • 6/12- United States
  • 6/18- Algeria
  • 6/23- Slovenia

Odds- 11-2

FIFA RANK- 8

SLOVENIA

This is one of the 3 European countries in this World Cup that begin with an S that really gets me confused and aggitated.  By the way, the countries are Slovenia, Slovakia and Serbia.  Slovenia and Slovakia especially piss me off.  They have the same god-damn country colors, and the flags look the same.  Who in the flying hell came up with this idea.  The only thing I give Slovenia credit for is they wear green uniforms (which doesn’t make stinkin sense either).  Slovenia became a country in 1990.  They must have really looked up to Slovakia, the way LeBron James looks up to Michael Jordan.  Jordan and James both wear the number 23, although LeBron will be changing his number next season.  Maybe Slovenia should switch up their flag and colors similar to the way the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did in the 1990’s.  Man those creamscicle color uniforms were atrocious.

Projected Lineups

  • GK- Samir Handanovic
  • LB- Bojan Jokic
  • CB- Marko Suler
  • CB- Bostjan Cesar
  • RB- Miso Brecko
  • LM- Andraz Kirm
  • CM- Alexander Radosavijevic
  • CM- Robert Koren
  • RM- Valter Birsa
  • LF- Milivoje Novakovic
  • RF- Zlatko Dedic

Off The Pine

  • M- Renee Khrin
  • F- Nejc Pecnik
  • M- Andreh Komac

Formation- 4-4-2

Strategy

This is a vastly underrated squad.  They’re built defensively, and they don’t give up too many goals; just 4 in 10 UEFA qualifying matches.  Unlike many other squads, this team plays together for most of the year.  They are solid in their structure and organization.  They are evenly spread out on the field and excell in their counter attack. 

3 Players to Watch

  1. Samir Handanovic–  A underrated goaltender, and could be the best one in the group.
  2. Milivoje Novakovic– The inspirational leader on and off the field.  A solid finisher.
  3. Zlatko Dedic– He does the running up front to set up Novakovic for the finish.

Wayne Rooney (C) of England challenges Miso Brecko (R) and Samir Handanovic (L) the Slovenia goalkeeper in the air during the International Friendly match between England and Slovenia at Wembley Stadium on September 5, 2009 in London, England.

(Samir Handanovic)

Schedule

  • 6/13- Algeria
  • 6/18- United States
  • 6/23- England

Odds- 250-1

FIFA RANK- 25

UNITED STATES

The rest of the world calls the United States the yankees.  And hell, United States futbol is hated around the world just like the New York Yankees are in the US.  Futbol is the most popular sport in the world, but in the USA, it’s a niche sport.  The fanbase is growing, and over the years, the United States has showed some flashes of brilliance.  Hence, last year’s Confederations Cup with a win over the mighty Spain.  There’s a ton of pressure on this squad, and they got a favorable drawing.  In 1980, the United Stated garnered a fanbase like no other for hockey with the “Miracle on Ice.”  I’m not saying that this squad has to win the entire thing, but a nice surprising run to say a quarterfinal would be nice.  It’s a step in the right direction to push futbol forward in the US. 

Projected Lineup

  • GK- Tim Howard
  • LB- Carlos Bocanegra
  • CB- Jay DeMerit
  • CB- Oguchi Onyewu
  • RB- Jonathan Spector
  • LM- Clint Dempsey
  • CM- Ricardo Clark
  • CM- Michael Bradley
  • RM- Landon Ddonovan
  • LF- Jozy Altidore
  • RF- Edson Buddle

Off the Pine

  • F- Herculez Gomez
  • M- Suart Holden
  • M- Maurice Edu

Formation- 4-4-2

Strategy

The United States is at their best when Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan have the ball at their feet out wide on the wings.  From there they can give it a little twirl from deep or swing it in the box for the strikers.  The central defense is solid, although the defense out wide can be a tad shaky.

3 Players to Watch

  1. Clint Dempsey- He can make defensders look pretty silly with his brilliant ball control.  Also, one of the best post goal celebration dancers in the world.  Somebody get him on Dancing With the Stars immediately.
  2. Landon Donovan- Arguably the best USA player in history.
  3. Jozy Altidore- How’s the ankle?

(Clint Dempsey)

Schedule

  • 6/12- England
  • 6/18- Slovenia
  • 6/23- Algeria

Odds- 80-1

FIFA RANK- 14

GAME-BY-GAME PICKS

1. 6/12 (2:30)- England vs United States (USA- 2-1)

I think England coming in is completely underestimating USA’s talent.  The US has waited 8 months for this match, it’s time to show the world that US futbol can compete on the international level.

2. 6/13 (7:30)- Slovenia vs Algeria (Slo- 2-0)

Slovenia is a solid team, the US and England better not overlook them.

3. 6/18 (10:00)- United States vs Slovenia (1-1)

Still riding the high off the England win, the US squad will get beaten on the field, but they’ll take the draw.

4. 6/18 (2:30)- England vs Algeria (Eng- 4-1)

This could get ugly for Algeria if England does in fact suffer a defeat by the Yanks.

5. 6/23 (10:00)- England vs Slovenia (Eng- 1-0)

It could be a great game, Rooney wins it for England.

6. 6/23 (10:00)- United States vs Algeria (1-1)

The US will get Algeria’s best shot here.  I think the US will play it too safe thus costing them the group, but they’ll still get the point to advance. 

PROJECTED GROUP RESULTS

  1. England (6 pts)
  2. United States (5 pts)
  3. Slovenia (4 pts)
  4. Algeria (1 pts)

 

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