World Cup 2010: Day 10 - Players To Watch & More

We're at the one-third point...
This year's top FIFA-ranked team and 2006's winners both play today, and both seek redemption. For Italy, a match with modest New Zealand is a chance to make amends for drawing with Paraguay, while Brazil will want to improve their performance level: sure, they beat North Korea, but it was a close-run thing and without conviction.

Their opponents are none other than Cote d'Ivoire, who put in a spirited defensive showing to draw 0-0 with Portugal in Port Elizabeth during the week.

Elsewhere Slovakia, who were held by the All Whites on matchday one, face a Paraguayan side with designs on qualification to the next stage.

It's all right here...

Today's Schedule

Slovakia - Paraguay Sunday, June 19, 2010 - 13:30 local time
  • Preview: Both sides opened with a 1-1 draw
  • Paraguay are considered great favourites
  • Slovakia may live to rue their late concession against New Zealand if they don't win
Italy - New Zealand Sunday, June 19, 2010 - 16:00 local time
  • Preview: A mismatch of David versus Goliath proportions
  • Despite drawing game one, Italy coach Marcello Lippi will likely make no changes
  • NZ freely admit that they have nothing to lose and will look for a shock
Brazil - Ivory Coast Sunday, June 19, 2010 - 20:30 local time
  • Preview: One of the most hotly-anticipated matches of the whole group stage
  • Didier Drogba is set to return to the Ivorians' starting eleven
  • Brazil are 5 wins for 5 against African teams in the World Cuo
Five Players To Watch Today

Keep an eye out for these ones...


He didn't score in the first match, but Barrios is a tricky customer for Slovakia to come up against. The Argentina-born forward is undoubtedly his side's top goal thread, even ahead of talents such as Oscar Cardozo and Roque Santa Cruz.
Simone PEPE

Pepe was one of Italy's star performers against Paraguay in the first match of the group stage. Now the would-be Juventus player has another chance to impress up against New Zealand, where his dynamicism will be vital.

New Zealand
Against Italy New Zealand need all the experience they can get. Enter Ivan Vicelich, the most-capped player in the country's history. He plays in the semi-pro local league in NZ but has a wealth of European experience behind him, which will be invaluable against the Azzurri.

Brazil midfielder Kaka didn't have the best of starts against North Korea, and as such he has all the more to prove against the Ivory Coast. Indeed, it's not been a great season all told for the former Ballon d'Or winner - will he kick into gear?

Ivory Coast
Didier's back! Yes, Didier Zokora is back in defence. (What did you think we meant?) The Sevilla midfielder put in a stunning performance in the back line during his side's 0-0 draw with Portugal and may be called upon to do so again. Of course if he can feed the ball to his namesake Drogba as well, so much the better...

Did You Know...?

Fun Fact:
Italy play their 79th World Cup game as they take on New Zealand. For the All Whites, it's match number five.


The total number of red cards suffered by Australia: double any other side in the tournament. Harry Kewell was the latest to be sent off
5,810 The distance in miles between Cape Town and Paris - a journey set to be undertaken by France striker Nicolas Anelka, who has been sent home for refusing to apologise after an altercation with coach Raymond Domenech

What We Saw Yesterday...

Netherlands 1-0 Japan (report)

The Oranje left it until the second half, but eventually picked up a victory over a Japanese side who could not repeat their heroics from their first match against Cameroon.

It was a Wesley Sneijder thunderbolt that settled matters - one that was straight at the 'keeper but had sufficient power to deny Eiji Kawashima the save.

The Dutch have virtually qualified for the next stage, while Japan remain in contention.

Ghana 1-1 Australia (report)

A missed opportunity for the Black Stars, who managed only a draw against ten-man Australia.

It seemed as though the Aussies' tournament was back on as Brett Holman netted an early opener to delight the crowd in Rustenburg.

But a Harry Kewell handball on the line gave Ghana a penalty, which Asamoah Gyan converted beautifully.

From there, though, there were no more goals.
Cameroon 1-2 Denmark (report)

Paul Le Guen's Cameroon are the first side to book their flight home after falling 2-1 to brave Denmark in Pretoria.

Skipper Samuel Eto'o gave the Indomitable Lions the lead after only ten minutes to keep the African dream alive.

Nicklas Bendtner was able to level the scores on the half hour mark, and from there on in the Danes looked superior.

The superb Dennis Rommedahl, in fact, wrapped it up midway through the second period.