World Cup 2010: Day 18 - Players To Watch & More

The second round continues.
Welcome to Day 18 of the World Cup, which boasts two interesting second round encounters. The afternoon games sees Italy's conquerors Slovakia taking on the Netherlands. Vladimir Weiss's side are big underdogs for the clash but did finally exhibit their potential in the victory over the world champions.

The evening game sees Dunga's Brazil take on Marcelo Bielsa's Chile. The Chileans really caught the eye in the group phase, but struggled badly against the Brazilian counter-attacks during qualifying.

Everything you need to know is right here...

Today's Schedule

Netherlands - Slovakia Monday, June 28, 2010 - 16:00 local time
  • Preview: This is the first meeting between these two sides
  • Bert van Marwijk's side are unbeaten in their last 22 matches
  • The Dutch have only conceded three goals in their last seven World Cup matches
  • Preview: Brazil have won their last seven meetings against the Chileans
  • Dunga's side have lost only once in their last 29 matches
  • Brazil won both meetings against Chile in qualifying - 3-0 in Santiago and 4-2 at home
Five Players To Watch Today

Keep an eye out for these ones...


The creative hub of the Dutch team, Sneijder has had a tremendous season at club level for Inter. The tenacious playmaker is a bold, confident character and is central to his side's attacking play. He possesses sharp vision and a ferocious shot and will need to be tightly watched by Slovakia.

In a side not blessed with stars, Skrtel is rare big name in Vladimir Weiss's side. His imposing presence in defense was key in qualification and he has recovered from injury to add resolve to the Slovak backline. His partnership with Jan Durica will be vital if the Slovakians are to limit the Netherlands' obvious attacking threat.

After missing the game against Portugal with muscle pains, Robinho looks set to return to the Selecao side for this evening's game with Chile. Blessed with a balletic dribbling style and crisp technique, the Manchester City man is likely to cause numerous problems on the counter for Dunga's side.

With Chile likely to play with a lot of pressure on Brazil in their own third, the five-time world champions will have to opportunity to unleash their counter-attacking on Marcelo Bielsa's men. As was seen at last summer's Confederations Cup, Kaka was principal to that mode of attack and could be key tonight.

There aren't too many ways in which you can get at Brazil's imperious backline, but the talented Sanchez is a fast and direct threat on the Chilean left. Facing up against Michel Bastos - ostensibly a left-winger - the Udinese attacker could exploit his opponents defensive inexperience in 1v1 situations.

Did You Know...?

Fun Fact:
Brazil's Dani Alves has always been a pretty speedy customer, but last summer he made himself even more streamline by undergoing cosmetic surgery to pin his ears closer to his head. The former Sevilla player had previously been dissatisfied with how much his jugs projected out. Barcelon gave Alves additional time to recover from the procedure before returning to training.


The number of passes played by Brazil's Maicon so far in the tournament - more than any other player in the Selecao squad.
The number of World Cup goals now scored by Germany's Miroslav Klose, just three behind Ronaldo's all time record.

What We Saw Yesterday...

Germany 4-1 England (report)

England were sent packing by an impressive Germany as Fabio Capello's men were exposed defensively by the bright, incisive play of Jogi Loew's young squad.

Miroslav Klose ghosted in from Manuel Neuer's goal-kick - yes, goal-kick - to give the Germans the lead. Lukas Podolski then made it two before Matthew Upson headed one back and Frank Lampard's effort was not given, despite clearly crossing the line. Germany regrouped and scored twice on the break in the second period to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

Argentina 3-1 Mexico (report)

There was more controversy from the officials in the evening game too as Carlos Tevez gave Argentina the lead, despite being, quite clearly, in an offside position. Mexico were incensed by the decision but proved the masters of their own downfall as Carlos Osorio gifted Gonzalo Higuain a second. Tevez added a sensational third before Xavier Hernandez claimed a consolation for El Tricolor.


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