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MrJibbles

Match Day 1

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It's finally here the 2010 World Cup

South Africa vs Mexico3pm ITV1220395%5ffull-lnd.jpgThe waiting is almost over. The 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ begins on Friday when the tournament hosts take on Group A rivals Mexico in the magnificent surroundings of Soccer City in Johannesburg, the first match to be staged at this impressive arena.No host nation has ever lost their opening game in the world finals. Though this is new territory for the South Africans, the Mexicans have had the honour of opening up the competition on four previous occasions (1930, 1950, 1958 and 1970), although they failed to win any of those games.The matchSouth Africa-Mexico, Group A, Johannesburg, Friday 11 June, 16.00 (local time)The Bafana Bafana have never won a FIFA World Cup finals match and go into the game with the weight of a nation’s expectations on their shoulders. Hopes have been buoyed by an unbeaten run of 13 games under Carlos Parreira, including notable wins over Colombia and Denmark. Led by the in-form duo of Steven Pienaar and Katlego Mphela, the hosts have not looked stronger in recent years.If their impressive 2-1 warm-up defeat of world champions Italy is anything to go by, the dynamic Mexicans are sure to provide the home favourites with a stern test. El Tricolor offer up a compelling blend of youth and experience, with the likes of Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela dovetailing to perfection with old hands such as Gerardo Torrado, Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Rafael Marquez. On this form, they might just break their Opening Match hoodoo.Key duelSteven Pienaar vs Rafael MarquezMuch of the Bafana Bafana’s creativity originates from the classy Everton midfielder. His confidence high after an exceptional season in the English Premier League, Pienaar can be expected to shine in front of his home fans.One of the men out to stop him will be Mexico skipper Marquez, who has been employed in a holding midfield role by coach Javier Aguirre. Should the Barcelona stopper fulfil his mission of snuffing out the threat posed by Pienaar, he will have gone a long way to helping his side prevail in this opening skirmish.The stat3 - The number of times these two teams have met, all of them on neutral territory. Los Aztecas hold sway with two wins to South Africa’s one, although the Bafana Bafana did win the most recent meeting, at the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, in which both sides fielded experimental line-ups.What they say“People always say the local team invariably does well but I can tell you we’re focusing only on the game against Mexico. If we can get a good result we can set the tournament alight. We need to show as much mental strength as we can. That’s the key to us having a good run,” Steven Pienaar, South Africa midfielder.“It’s a great opportunity but at the same time facing the hosts is a tough challenge. The whole world is looking forward to this game and that’s something we’re very aware of. I think the most important thing for us is to not let nerves and pressure get the better of us. That way we can perform to the best of our ability,” Carlos Vela, Mexico forward.Voice of the fans"South Africa might not win the first game but they will show why no host nation has failed to advance from first round in the WC. Some Mexican fans on FIFA.com say they will have an easy win, I say beware of the power of the vuvuzela," FIFA.com user litowadowice.The questionWill the South Africans get off to a winning start?http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/round=249722/match=300061454/preview.html
Uruguay vs France7.30 BBC1186224%5ffull-lnd.jpgThe second match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ pits together two former world champions: Uruguay, the winners in 1930 and 1950; and France, who triumphed 1998. With hosts South Africa and Mexico making up what promises to be a tight Group A, the three points up for grabs in Cape Town on Friday could prove crucial. The last meeting between the two was a 0-0 draw in the group phase at Korea/Japan 2002, a result that contributed to the early elimination of both sides.The matchUruguay-France, Group A, Cape Town (Green Point Stadium), Friday 11 June, 20.30 (local time)Despite their rich footballing traditions, both teams struggled en route to the world finals, only clinching their places in the play-offs. While La Celeste were squeezing past Costa Rica, Les Blues were being pushed all the way by Republic of Ireland, a nerve-racking end to a campaign that raised doubts about their ability to contest for honours at South Africa 2010.The Uruguayans have looked the more convincing of the two in the build-up to the finals, beating Switzerland and Israel as part of their preparations. France, meanwhile, were brushed aside by Spain in March and lost 1-0 to China only last week.In a bid to turn his side’s worrying form around, coach Raymond Domenech has introduced a new 4-3-3 formation, with Jeremy Toulalan operating in a lone holding role and Florent Malouda and Yoann Gourcuff supplying the bullets for the front men. Charrúa boss Oscar Tabarez will be sticking to his tried-and-trusted 3-5-2 line-up, with the midfield tandem of Ignacio Gonzalez and Alvaro Pereira supporting the fearsome strike partnership of Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez.Players to watchDiego Forlan vs William GallasNever lacking in grit and determination, Uruguay have plenty of attacking firepower to call on in South Africa. As usual, Forlan will be the spearhead. Having enjoyed a productive end to the league season with Atletico Madrid, he should not be lacking in confidence. His duel with Gallas will go some way to deciding the outcome of the match, although the Arsenal central defender has plenty of questions to answer after a frustrating injury-affected season. A solid performance against the ever-dangerous Forlan should help restore his confidence.The stat16 - Uruguay have won just one of their last 16 matches at the FIFA World Cup finals, a 1-0 defeat of Korea Republic at Italy 1990. Their last victory prior to that came 20 years earlier at Mexico 1970, when they won twice on the way to finishing fourth.What they said“Against Uruguay we’ll see whether we’re solid or not. Anything could happen to be honest. Uruguay do a lot of pressing when they’re not in possession, but if we can find a way round that by passing the ball then I’m sure we’ll see an improvement on our performances in the warm-up games,” Jeremy Toulalan, France midfielder.“I’ve more or less decided on the formation we’ll be using. The tactics will depend on how the game unfolds because the only thing we’ll know for sure before the game is France’s line-up. But no matter how they play, the players we put out there will be able to adapt,” Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay coach.Voice of the fans“4-3-3 is a sound tactic when you have experienced players but it can be a bit of a risk if the coach has only just started to use it. The players will have to work really hard because there won’t be any space in the midfield. At the same time, to create chances you have to attack down the wings. France have been playing 4-5-1 for years and they’ll have to prove that they know how to use this system,” FIFA.com user PlayaDeNoche.The questionFrance failed to score in their opening games at Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006. Will they find the back of the net on Friday?http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/round=249722/match=300061453/preview.html
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day off.. watching this for sure.

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On paper would say Mexico would win but wont be shocked if South Africa does with the home crowd and as the host..host usually tend do will...France and Uruguay end up in a end imo

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egbehgeehwrshjrjjrerjekjetkYESSSSMan_Jump_for_Joy.jpg

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this is amazingi love the world cupso jealous of the players right now

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Genuinely cannot predict how this group will pan out. Probably the most wide open group in the competition.

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Uruguay and South Africa to win. Suarez and Forlan to have a goalfeast against a team who struggled and cheated to qualify

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Might have to put money on Forlan banging one in anytime.

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5120ja.jpgfrom the dailymail
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That guys family should be culled for that nonsense./LOL He's from Yeovil, must be used to not seeing his club on TV.

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Can see both games ending a draw....I know France have had problems.....but they don't concede too many goals even in 2002 when they went out in the group stages.

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so the whole thing stars at 3

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Im so f*ck*ng hypedwatching while working >>>

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Cant wait for this.The host nation have never lost a game.Played - 19Won - 13Draw - 6Lost - 0My money is goin on South Africa for the win today.

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watching the opening ceremony on itv1 HDgod bless HDmexico look a good outfit reckon they will eat SA

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Opening ceremony is looking good. Surprised a little that the venue's got alot of empty seats.

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bare empty seats

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exciting times,sad times for the mandela familyfirst game mexico 2-1second game uruguay 1-0 forlan to scorecan see both being draws though

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lol @ that chicks gutthis algerian tune is sick

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truss timebomb you got a mp3?

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this nigerian guy is terrible

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GWAN KELLZ'ARD

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