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Rupert Wyman 14th Jun 2010 - 15:41

The Group F minnows collide

Tomorrow both the Group F minnows New Zealand and Slovakia play each other, each of them harbour ambitions of reaching the latter stages of the World Cup.

The World Cup is unchartered territory for Slovakia, it is technically true that they have played at the World Cup before as a joined country in Czechoslovakia.

This World Cup is a major step forward for Slovakia but it would be a great shock if they qualified from Group F.

Italy take on Paraguay this evening and they are the two best teams on paper in the group.

It is imperative for both teams that they go for the win tomorrow.  Martin Skrtel should be fit to play for Slovakia after he suffered an ankle injury against Costa Rica, he is a threat from set pieces and is 8/1 to score anytime, their best players are the ex-Chelsea player Stoch and Sestak.

Sestak plays for the German side Bochum and he grabbed six goals during qualifying. He is priced at 10/11 to score anytime and is 7/2 to be first scorer.

Slovakia's form of late has been poor, they were excellent in qualifying but it was their early results that carried them through the group.

Slovakia tend to play attacking football and they will put New Zealand on the back foot from the start.

New Zealand qualified for the World Cup thanks to a play-off win over Bahrain.

The Kiwis play with a 3-man defence, with Blackburn Rovers captain Ryan Nelson the talisman.

Both teams play a direct style of football and I think Slovakia (1/2) could grab the win. They have more quality in their squad than the Kiwis, and are used to playing a higher level of opposition.

With all due respect to New Zealand, their qualification can also be put down to their geographical location and Fifa's desire to have nations from all over the world represented.

The draw is 14/5 and if Nelson can keep the defence tight, they may be able to achieve a score draw.

Although neither team has world class attackers, they are both at their best going forward.  The price of the Slovakia win is too short for me at 1/2 , I would rather back both teams to score at 5/4.

They will both play on the break and New Zealand are capable of scoring if they find themselves in a good position in-front of goal.

New Zealand have recently beaten Serbia 1-0, so they may come into the match with confidence high. They have also scored a goal in each of their last three games, so Slovakia must make sure they do not sit back and expect the easy win.

 

 
 
 

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