Crikey mate, it's the First XI World Cup bulletin!
Here's what's happening in sexy South Africa today
Sunday 13 June 2010
12:30 Algeria v Slovenia, Polokwane, BBC
15:00 Serbia v Ghana, Pretoria, ITV
19:30 Germany v Australia, Durban, ITV
Algeria v Slovenia is probably the first game about which you'll be thinking "I don't think I'll bother with this one". You've got some attitude, mister. Not only are they England's group mates, and thereforce fascinating viewing from a scouting perspective, they could throw up a game as fantastic as the thrilling 1-1 draw between Iran and Angola in 2006, and who can forget the goalless draw between Paraguay and Bulgaria in 1998?.Yeah, maybe it's time for a lie-in.
Never write off the Germans? Only if it goes to penalties. Deutschalnd haven't beaten any of the traditionally big footballing countries - Argentina, Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, England or The Netherlands at a tournament in normal or extra time since 1990. They'll do Australia though, they're rubbish.
Ghana have never played Serbia before, but there was a friendly game between the former Yugoslavia and Ghana in 1997 which ended 3-1 to the ex-country. The famously vindinctive Serbs will be singing several songs today mocking Ghana for their performance in that game. This may or may not be true.
On this day in 1982 reigning champions Argentina suffered a shock defeat to Belgium at the Nou Camp on the opening day of the first Spanish World Cup.
MATCH OF THE DAY 19:30, ITV
GERMANY V AUSTRALIA
Group D. Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban. Capacity: 70,000
They say good things come in threes. And to mark day three, three-time champions Germany (boo) face three-time qualifiers Australia. Three-ky. Which means it might be worth getting your cash on someone scoring a hat-trick. And since Germany (boo) romped unbeaten through qualifying those tempted to indulge our reasoning should back Klose (Golden Boot at the last World Cup) or Podolski (37 goals in 73 internationals). Mind you, Pim Verbeek’s men have a major goal threat themselves in Tim Cahill, so expect a plethora of pundits salivating over “the game of the tournament so far”.
PLAYER TO WATCH
BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER (above)
With a Michael Ballack-sized hole in the middle of their side Germany will look to the Bayern Munich midfielder to step up to the plate in what’s already his fourth major international tournament. Still just 25 the Kolbermoor kid (as no-one calls him, despite it being his birthplace) the right-sided midfielder used to play primarily as a left winger, cutting inside frequently to make use of his impressive long range shooting abilities. This season under Louis van Gaal at Bayern he’s blossomed in a new role in central midfield. Ominously for the Aussies Germany have never lost a game in which he has scored.
HALF-TIME PUB QUIZ
1 Name the goalkeeper who stood between the posts for Italy at Italia ’90?
2 Name the only England player to score in three consecutive World Cups. ?
3 Which was the last World Cup Wales qualified for?
4 How many goals did Wayne Rooney score during qualifying for the 2010 World Cup?
5 Which World Cup final finished 0-0?
YESTERDAY'S ANSWERS: 1 Zero. 2 Germany, with 14. 3 Hungary’s ten vs El Salvador in 1982. 4 He became the first and still only player to score at both ends in a World Cup match. 5 Oleg Salenko with five against Cameroon in 1994.
MATCH OF THE DAY 2
MISS ALGERIA vs MISS SLOVENIA
Who's hotter? Cast your votes in the comments box below.
Melania Knauss. In the house.
Why, it's ballerina Sofia Boutella.
Henry fails a drug test.
Check back at 11 for tomorrow for the next First 11 World Cup Bulletin.