World Cup Odds and Picks: Slovenia Vs. USA Predictions
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 6/17/2010
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Here in the United States the match against England was billed as the biggest game in the history of the men’s soccer team. That was a bit of overstatement considering the outcome of that game hardly mattered as long as the United States took care of business in its second and third game of the group stage.
The first of these more winnable games is at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 18 in Johannesburg when the United States takes on Slovenia. The United States entered these games as a favorite to get out of Group C and ranked No. 14 by FIFA. Slovenia was ranked No. 25 by FIFA before the tournament.
The United States’ improbable tie against England certainly gave the Stars and Stripes a result to be pleased with as they ready for their second game. Slovenia’s win (1-0 over Algeria) was more expected than the United States’ 1-1 draw but it was a much bigger deal considering what Slovenia has lying ahead starting with the United States game and finishing against England.
Playing from behind for the better part of the first half, the United States showed its resiliency against England. It was Clint Dempsey who was credited with the goal that slid past English goalkeeper Robert Green but it was Landon Donovan who proved to be a difference maker for the entire 90 minutes.
If Donovan can come close to duplicating his performance against England, the LA Galaxy midfielder will have a field day against a much more porous Slovenia defense. His ability to create on set pieces is what separates the United States from the lower-tier teams including Slovenia.
This World Cup belongs to Donovan but he is just one of many players in the United States who would be standouts on most countries. Players like Dempsey, Oguchi Onyewu, Jozy Altidore and Tim Howard give United States the star power and playmaking ability it has not had in the recent past.
Those stars did not stand out much against the megastar-studded lineup of England, but against Slovenia it should be evident almost immediately that the United States is the more skillful of the two teams on the pitch in Johannesburg.
United States vs. Slovenia World Cup Odds:
United States is a favorite in three-way betting at +100 with Slovenia +260 and a draw listed at +230. In two-way betting United States is -200 and Slovenia is +150. The total is set at 2.5. Odds are courtesy of Bodog and Sports Interaction.
United States vs. Slovenia Picks and Predictions:
United States Will Win If: It puts the England tie behind it and realizes that the 1-1 draw with the group favorite will mean nothing if it cannot produce a win against Slovenia. Tim Howard will not have to be great but he just needs to make the saves he should and most importantly Donovan needs to continue to stir the United States attack.
Slovenia Will Win If: It comes out of the gate with a sense of urgency and brings the fight to the United States. It will not be able to wait until the 79th minute like it did against a 10-man Algeria squad. Slovenia is in first place in the group through one game so they can no longer expect to stay under the radar. Slovenia captain and first game Man of the Match Robert Koren will have to duplicate his performance to keep his squad in this game, which appears to be an uphill climb.
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