Simply put, England was not supposed to be in this arduous position in South Africa. As they head into their final Group C match against Slovenia, the Three Lions face a must-win scenario in order to narrowly qualify for the round of 16. They have looked horrible in both of their opening fixtures, generating little offense, and making a bundle of errors along the way. The good news is, the English control their own destiny, and disaster can certainly be averted with a convincing win over group-leading Slovenia.
Slovenia are currently situated atop Group C with 4 points. Behind them sits England, and the United Stares, both tied on 2 points. Like England, Slovenia too will control their own fate in this crucial match. Throughout qualification, they were a surprising team and have continued their run to South Africa. Despite blowing a 2-goal lead to America in their previous game, the Slovenians remain in high-spirits anxious at the possibility of knocking out a powerful side in England.
$250 in Free Bets for the World Cup! Click The Banner Below
England vs Slovenia Odds:
Keys to the Game:
England isn’t just dealing with problems on the pitch. Within the dressing room, head coach Fabio Capello was forced to squash a small revolt among his players. Star defender John Terry let it slip that he was unhappy with Capello’s tactics, and demanded changes, yet was forced into an embarrassing apology shortly after. Ledley King remains out for the England defense, and Jamie Carragher will be ineligible due to his accumulation of yellow cards. Look for Matthew Upson, and Joe Cole to feature in the England line-up to replace their teammates. Wayne Rooney remains the main reason why pundits still perceive England to be a legitimate World Cup title threat. Yet the Manchester United star has been invisible in his first two matches, and he will have to be dangerous if England hopes to avoid an embarrassing demise in South Africa.
Slovenia is well-aware of their promising situation. As they currently hold 4 points, a draw against the Three Lions is all they need to advance, and send England home early. That said, it surely won’t come easy against an English side that have historically been perennial contenders at World Cup competitions. Head coach Matajz Kek will surely adopt a cautious approach to this fixture, hoping to perhaps capitalize on their counter-attacks. Key defender Marko Suler will miss this game due to a rib injury, and should be replaced by Mavric Rozic.
What to Expect:
Truth be told, even the most pessimistic of English supporters wouldn’t have envisioned this scenario for their beloved Three Lions. Most expect disaster to unfold, if it hasn’t already. Yet England does possess a wealth of talent, and a bundle of offensive jewels. It is just a matter of utilizing them in the right manner. Look for England to adopt a 4-5-1 formation, with Rooney as the lone-striker up front. He should be buoyed by the addition of the energetic Joe Cole to the England line-up as the team must play attacking football to secure a vital three points. Emile Heskey should also exit the England lineup, and expect Jermaine Defoe should fill his spot. Expect these English additions to pressure Slovenia throughout the full 90 minutes, as Slovenia is simply content with holding the Three Lions to a draw.
Although this is a less than ideal situation for England, this is their last chance to avoid one of the most embarrassing World Cup exits in the history of the tournament. England remains one of the premier teams in the competition, and the right mixture of their talent and frustration, should vault them past Slovenia and into the second round.
England vs Slovenia Prediction: England 2 – Slovenia 1
Did you know you can Bet World Cup 2010 Online?