Greetings BETHOME punters, on a day when England are back in action against a theoretically inferior team in Algeria but it remains to be seen whether England can live up to their billing as one of the tournament favourites or whether Algeria can cause a major upset…
England – Algeria
England didn’t make an ideal start to the tournament as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw against the USA so anything other than a win today would spell disaster. Goalie Robert Green had a nightmare game marred by a huge error when he fumbled a tame shot by Dempsey to see the ball crawl into the back of the net in the first half. Nevertheless, manager Cappello is expected to give him a vote of confidence and give him another chance but he won’t announce his decision until two hours before the game, so James and Hart will still be hoping they are selected. Ledley King is a certain non-starter so Carragher, Dawson and Upson are vying for that position in central defence alongside Terry. Midfielder Milner was unconvincing in the first game as was his replacement during the game, Shaun Wright-Phillips, so it is expected that Steven Gerrard will play out on the flank with Gareth Barry coming into the middle. Heskey and Rooney are a good attacking duo and should continue up front together, however Crouch is pushing for selection to replace the Aston Villa forward given his brief appearance in the first game left a good impression.
Probable Line-up: James, Johnson, Carragher, Terry, Cole, Lennon, Lampard, Gerrard, Barry, Heskey, Rooney.
Algerian keeper Chaouchi committed a huge blunder to cost them the game against Slovenia (0-1) but he is also expected to be given another chance between the sticks given the lack of competition for his place in the side. Their chances today are slim and a more realistic target would be to try and score a goal and limit the amount of goals they concede. Three of their members compete in the Premier League two of them are regulars at Portsmouth (Belhadj and Yebda), while Guedioura of Wolves is a reserve.
Probable Line-up: Chaouchi, Bougherra, Halliche, Yahia, Belhadj, Kadir, Lacen, Ziani, Yebda, Matmour, Saifi.
Selection: I do think England will win but I also think they will concede given their slow paced defence. I will be backing goal-goal and over 2.5 goals.