2010 World Cup: A Look At England's Opponents in Group C
The provisional squads have been named for this summer's World Cup in South Africa.
There are some suprise names in the England team and well known players have been left out of other country's team.
England are in group C along with USA, Algeria and Slovenia. Its not the trickiest three teams in the world, but this is England we are talking about, so anything can happen.
Here is a little summary of the three teams England will face in the group stages of the World Cup.
England's first match is going to be against the USA.
America's coach, Bob Bradley, chose nearly all of the players the media expected him to.
However, there are still some suprising additions and absentees, which will give Fabio Capello plenty to think about.
The biggest name missing from the US team is their striker Charlie Davies.
He was injured in a terrible car crash in late 2009.
Even though Davies has made a tremendous recovery in time for the tournament, Bob Bradley and his club Sochaux, thought he was not fit enough to be called upon to travel and compete in the worlds biggest football tournament.
He has been left out so he can continue his rehabilitation with the French side.
Veteran strikers Herculez Gomez, and Edson Buddle, have been recalled to the squad.
They were so unexpected, that they were not even included in the American media guide for 2010.
Both players are top scorers in their leagues.
The USA are second favourites in Group C behind the mighty England, and ought to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament.
The USA are the only team to have beaten Spain in three and a half years. They will be England's biggest threat.
The USA's "danger man," is David Beckham's old team mate from LA Galaxy, Landon Donovan.
He proved himself to be a good player at his 10 week spell at Everton. He was highly effective in the Merseyside team with his two goals in 13 games.
Probably the most interesting player in the Algeria team is goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi.
He was first choice throughout their World Cup qualification campaign and their run to the semi-final of the African Cup Of Nations.
However, in the semi-final of the African Cup of Nations against arch rivals Egypt, he and two of his teammates were given a red card.
It left Algeria with just eight men and they went on to lose 4-0.
Chaouchi will be suspended for Algeria's first two games of the tournament. He will miss games against Slovenia and England, but will be able to face the USA in the final group match.
Algeria are appealing the ban, but it is unlikely that it will be overturned given the fact he appeared to headbutt the referee during the Egypt match.
Algeria have improved a lot in recent years, but it is clear they face a tough challenge in Group C.
They may struggle to qualify for the knockout stages as they are the lowest ranked side in Group C at no. 31.
The Algerian player to watch is VFL Wolfsburg's Karim Ziani.
He has not been playing in regular first team games, but he is one of the most creative players in the squad.
Slovenia only made it to this year's finals by eliminating Russia in the playoff.
This is no mean feat, as the Russian side featured talented players such as Andrey Arshavin, Yuri Zhirkov and Roman Pavlyuchenko.
There are not many "stars" among the Slovenia team, but they do work well together and could pull out another suprise.
They have a strong defence, which showed in their 10 World Cup qualification games, where they only conceded four goals.
However, they have next to nothing upfront.
They managed to score 18 goals on thier way to South Africa, but eight of those goals came in two games against the almighty San Marino.
Without this statistic, they only managed to score one goal per game.
As Slovenia are the most offensive team, Milivoje Novakovič will be the one to watch.
The team is mainly defensive, so their main attacker is Novakovič. He scored five goals to help his team win against Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Poland and San Marino.
He is Slovenia's version of Peter Crouch, as at a height of 6'4", he will be a threat in the air.
England are the favourites to finish top of Group C, but will need to be aware of each of their opponents for their very different playing styles.
Fabio Capello has said to his team that, "anything less than an appearance in the final of the competition would not satisfy him."
But as history will remind us, England have been try for the past 44 years to win the World Cup again.
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