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World Cup 2010: Insider's guide - Slovenia

SLOVENIA v ENGLAND
Venue: Nelson Mandela Stadium, Port Elizabeth Date: 23 June Time: 1500 BST Coverage: Live on BBC One and BBC Radio 5 Live; live text commentary and in-depth analysis on BBC Sport website Full details of BBC World Cup coverage

Michael Bradley

Highlights - Slovenia 2-2 USA

England's hopes of qualifying from Group C hang on the result of their game against Slovenia in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

Slovenia's Zlatko Dedic, who featured in their 1-0 win over Algeria and 2-2 draw with the United States, gave BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher a behind-the-scenes look at coach Matjaz Kek's side.


Who is the key player in the Slovenia squad?
Milivoje Novakovic is very important for us when we are attacking. He is a very strong striker and he is always good for a goal.

Is there a dressing-room joker?
The spirit in our team is very good. We have known each other for a long time and most of us have played together since the national youth teams, which has built a good togetherness.

Who is the team's hard man?
Our defender Bostja Cesar is a very tough guy. Even in training sessions you want to be on his team.

Valter Birsa

USA fall behind to Birsa strike

What formation will Slovenia adopt? I am not saying. You had better ask the manager.

How would you describe Matjaz Kek, the Slovenia manager?
He is a straight man. If there is anything he doesn't like, he will you tell you right away. He is also very ambitious. If you have a bad day and your motivation is low, he can be a pain in the neck. But he is very reliable, you always know what he is up to.

Tell me something I don't know about Slovenia?
When we qualified for the World Cup, our prime minister cleaned our shoes. Because I scored in the play-offs against Russia, I was the first one to get my shoes cleaned.

What are your thoughts on England?
England have fantastic players like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney. They also have a very experienced coach in Fabio Capello, who knows all the tricks.

What is England's main weakness?
No top club in the Premier League has an English goalkeeper in their starting line-up, so that could be a weakness.

Who do Slovenia fear in the England team?
We have a lot of respect for the whole team but we don't fear anybody.

How far will England go in the World Cup?
Before the tournament, I thought England had a good chance of winning.

If you could "sign" any player from another country to play for Slovenia, who would you pick?
I would pick Argentina's Lionel Messi.

World Cup guide: Slovenia

World Cup guide - Slovenia



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see also
How England can qualify
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Upson to start against Slovenia
21 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
No rift in England camp - Lampard
21 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello 'to quit if England exit'
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - Slovenia 2-2 USA
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - Algeria 0-1 Slovenia
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Slovenia
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Slovenia Photo Album
28 Apr 10 |  World Cup 2010
Slovenian Pecnik ruled out of Cup
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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