World Cup 2010 Predictions: Algeria vs. Slovenia
Day three of the 2010 World Cup begins with Group C match, Algeria vs Slovenia.
We preview all the action and tell you which players you should be watching.
Algeria’s poor form
Having qualified for South Africa by beating African champions Egypt you might expect big things from Algeria.
However their current wretched form would indicate otherwise.
Lowlights from their recent warm-up games include a 3-0 defeat by Ireland and a sluggish 1-0 win against the UAE.
Algeria needs a immediate turnaround in fortunate once the World Cup gets underway as it has identified this opening match with Slovenia as the best opportunity to pick up three points.
Algeria will rely heavily on the experience of its coach Rabah Saadane’s.
South Africa will be his third involvement at a World Cup.
In 1982 Saadane was part of the staff during Algeria’s first appearance in a World Cup finals, when they famously beat West Germany.
He was then promoted to head coach and took his country to the 1986 World Cup where they were eliminated with two defeats and a draw.
With tough games ahead, Algeria will hope Saadane has some tricks up his sleeve.
Slovenia’s internal divisions
It has been reported that Slovenia’s players have been involved in a row with the country’s FA over World Cup bonus payments.
Slovenian fans may have a worrying sense of déjà vu after the country’s 2002 World Cup dreams were ruined by fighting between star player Zlatko Zahoivc and coach Srecko Katanec.
Slovenia is a technically talented side but if the players minds are more on money than glory, they might be surprised by Algeria’s passion.
Attacking from the back
Slovenia tends to play a very patient style of football and will be content to hold onto the ball against Algeria.
Most of the incisive play is likely to come when the fullbacks Miso Brecko and Bojan Jokic join the attack and try to send crosses onto the striker’s heads.
Who To Watch: Karim Ziani (Algeria)
The 27-year old midfielder is Algeria’s star player.
Having spent two seasons in France at Marseille, Ziani moved to the Bundesliga to join Wolfsburg.
However he has struggled to settle in and only played nine games all season.
Nevertheless, Saadane will build his team around his playmaker, who is likely to start on the right of midfield.
Who To Watch: Hassan Yebda (Algeria)
Having suffered the disappointment of relegation with Portsmouth this season, the Algerian midfielder will be hoping for some World Cup cheer in South Africa.
Loaned to the English club by Benfica, Yebda will hope that some good performances in South Africa will persuade his Portuguese employers to retain his services.
Who To Watch: Miso Brecko (Slovenia)
The right-back plays in Germany for Cologne and loves to get forward.
Although primarily right-footed, Brecko can play with his left meaning defenders don’t know whether to show him inside or to the sideline.
Who To Watch: Zlatko Dedic (Slovenia)
The 25-year old striker doesn’t have many international goals to his name, but one of them was the goal that beat Russia in Slovenia’s World Cup qualifying play-off.
Hard working and good in the air, most of Slovenia’s final balls will be aimed at Dedic.
Algeria vs. Slovenia prediction
Our prediction: Slovenia
With both sides looking for three points it could be a fun game, but a lack of good finishing will keep the score low.
Slovenia to scrape to victory.