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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group F - Slovakia

Nickname – Repre

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

Slovakia edged Czech Republic (previous both countries were united as Czechoslovakia) and Slovenia in their qualifying group for the World Cup. Even managing to lose twice against the second placed Slovenia was not enough to thrown them out of the top with 7 wins and 1 draw. Sestak scored 6 goals in an attack that delivered a total of 22 goals.

H2H

Jun 15 Rustenburg New Zealand v Slovakia - Even though New Zealand scored always more than once against European opponents, they don’t seem to be able to secure the result so the last time they won was against Georgia 3-1 back in 2006.

Jun 20 Bloemfontein Slovakia v Paraguay - Last time that Paraguay lost against European nations was in the 2006 World Cup, 1-0 against Sweden & England.

Jun 24 Johannesburg Slovakia v Italy - 3-0 was the only result that saw Italy beating Slovakia in 1998.

Goalkeepers: Jan Mucha (Legia Warsaw), Dusan Kuciak (Vaslui), Dusan Pernis (Dundee United)

Defenders: Marek Cech (West Brom), Jan Durica (Hannover), Peter Pekarik (Wolfsburg), Martin Petras (Cesena), Kornel Salata (Slovan Bratislava), Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), Radoslav Zabavnik (Mainz)

Midfielders: Marek Hamsik (Napoli), Kamil Kopunek (Spartak Trnava), Jan Kozak (Politehnica Timisoara), Juraj Kucka (Sparta Prague), Marek Sapara (Ankaragucu), Zdeno Strba (Xanthi), Miroslav Stoch (Chelsea), Vladimir Weiss (Manchester City)

Strikers: Filip Holosko (Besiktas), Martin Jakubko (Saturn Moscow), Erik Jendrisek (Schalke), Stanislav Sestak (Bochum), Robert Vittek (Lille).

FORMATION

Weiss determined their formation as a 4-4-2. Mucha; Pekarik, Skrtel, Salate, Lubokan; Sestak, Hamsik, Weiss, Stoch; Jendrisek, Holosko.

BEST PLAYERS

Martin Skrtel is a Liverpool regular starter in the defensive line as much as in Slovakia squad. His young age provides him yet the freshness to be quick and aggressive at the same time commanding in the air especially due to his height 6’4”. He reminds the likes of Lucio because he often tries the defender overlap and joins the attack, probable because when he started to play he was a winger. Even though this season was plagued with foot injury that left Weiss thinking whether he would make it or not into the World Cup he has had 33 matches played so far.

Vladimir Weiss is part of the magisterial squad of Manchester City but it was loaned this season to Bolton to provide further opportunities of playing more often. 15 matches, 1 goal and 5 assists for the international 20 year old’s son of the Slovakia coach that has the same name. His quickness is amazing mixed with precious creativity and technique that provides him a huge margin of progress as bright player he is. His dazzling dribbling skills are the good and the bad of this bio as a player. Good because he can easily overtake an opponent and create a wide range of chances; Bad because if he feels he is doing great tends to extend his prosperous dribbles losing objectivity and cancelling the team’s chances of creating any danger towards the goal.

Marek Hamsik is the Napoli superstar. Played 38 matches scoring 12 times and assisting in 5 times. He is the Maradona of Slovakia for the Naples fanbase. This World Cup will help him to cement his status as a prominent player. He is a offensive midfielder that has the pedigree for goalscoring, fact that introduces him as the top goal scorer of Napoli in his first two seasons rating his levels of adaptability to any situation as high, characteristic that emanates from superstardom status of a player. His positioning alongside stunning passing ability determines how good he is on the field. He learned from the best, Pavel Nedved. He is the Slovakian player that will surely deliver and you will see the tempos of game-play changing according to his will.

SURPRISE

The surprise omissions are.

STATEMENTS

"We're very persistant: we don't give up until we've succeeded," Stanislav Sestak, striker.

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- Vladimir Weiss –

2 Slovak Superliga – Artmedia - 2005, 2008.

Career made of 323 matches with 43% Win, 31% Draw, 26% Loss, GS 1,48 GA 1,08

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – They have most of their squad playing in the most competitive leagues in Europe which will surely be a very good asset to take into a World Cup. They have thriving individuals that are eager to prove their ability without neglecting the whole as a team. They are a squad that is pretty much balanced, but they will have to perform like Czechoslovakia used to play in order to get something of the group stages.

Weaknesses – Being their first World Cup can be a pressure to high and costly for the team that wants to have a say in a Top competition as this one. Like other nations that are around specific players and that tend to crash out after losing their key players and having not someone to substitute in a similar way is a problem that Weiss will have to take care in case he wants to make further history for his country.

Opportunities – Other teams have one match as the core of all group stage. Slovakia has two matches of severe importance. They must win the first game against New Zealand and get a positive result from the second match versus Paraguay to dream of finishing second in the group.

Threats – In a not so much of a passionate match against New Zealand, if they lose, this will be they will be knocked out of the competition in the first day. If Paraguay are going to be hard task, imagine Italy.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

Number 38 of the World ahead of Honduras, Japan, South Korea and behind of Denmark, Ghana and Algeria.

ACHIEVEMENTS

1 Olympic Gold Medal - 1980;

1 UEFA European Championship – 1976;

All as part of the Czechoslovakia National team.

CASTROL INDEX

LATEST 10 MATCHES

Czech Republic 1 2 Slovakia

Slovakia 7 0 San Marino

Iceland 1 1 Slovakia

Slovakia 2 2 Czech Republic

N. Ireland 0 2 Slovakia

Slovakia 0 2 Slovenia

Poland 0 1 Slovakia

Slovakia 1 0 United States

Slovakia 1 2 Chile

Slovakia 0 1 Norway

Slovakia 1 1 Cameroon

Slovakia 3 1 Costa Rica


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