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Page last updated at 12:01 GMT, Friday, 9 July 2010 13:01 UK

Friday's World Cup round-up

Joachim Loew
Loew's attendance in Port Elizabeth could be threatened by illness

Germany coach Joachim Loew has been struck down by flu ahead of his side's third-place play-off against Uruguay, forcing him to miss Friday training.

Captain Philipp Lahm and striker Lukas Podolski have also been suffering - both are expected to be fir for Saturday's match in Port Elizabeth - but neither are as bad as Loew, who has asked assistant coach Hansi Flick to step in for his press duties.

Paul, an octopus credited with psychic powers at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen, has made his prediction ahead of Sunday's World Cup Final between Spain and the Netherlands - and chosen Spain as his winners.

He predicts by choosing a mussel from one of two boxes bearing the flags of the competing nations.

The two-year-old cephalopod has become an international celebrity after correctly predicting all of Germany's World Cup games, including a shock defeat by Serbia in the group stages and the ousting by Spain.

He also tipped Germany to defeat Uruguay in Saturday's third-place play-off in Port Elizabeth.
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However, Paul's might not be the final say. Pauline, a female octopus in Dutch captivity, has predicted victory for the Netherlands in Sunday's World Cup final against Spain.

Maaike Schroeder, spokeswoman for the Sea Life aquarium in Scheveningen in The Hague, said: "She chose the Netherlands."

However, Schroeder also conceded that this was four-year-old Pauline's first attempt at divination.

Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela will be given the honour of presenting the World Cup trophy to the winner of Sunday's final between Spain and the Netherlands - if he attends the match.

Mandela, 92, missed the opening ceremony after his great-granddaughter was killed in a car crash the night before the tournament.

He will not confirm whether he will be present at the final until Sunday but Fifa president Sepp Blatter said: "If he comes and stays to the end (of the final) then it is possible he will present the trophy."

Germany striker Miroslav Klose admits Saturday's World Cup third-place play-off is scant consolation for missing out on the final.

"I guess I'll never win the World Cup title," said Klose, who lost the 2002 final to Brazil and was on the losing side against Italy in the 2006 semi-finals in Germany.

Going into what may be his final World Cup match, the 32-year-old is one goal shy of Brazilian striker Ronaldo's 15-goal World Cup record.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez insists his side will be taking their third place World Cup play-off against Germany seriously.

The clash of the losing semi-finalists is often seen as little more than a glorified friendly between two sides smarting from having missed out on a place in the final.

But the La Celeste boss is adamant there will be no such sentiments from his team.

"This is a very difficult game," said Tabarez.

"Yes, fourth position is not the same as others, but we will go in with the same commitment and enthusiasm like we did in the encounter against the Netherlands.

"We have no assurance that we will win, but we will prepare ourselves to fight to the death."

Netherlands forward Dirk Kuyt will speak to new Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson to confirm that he wants to stay at Anfield next season - but not until after the World Cup final.

Kuyt, who is yet to speak with Rafael Benitez's Liverpool replacement, is set to start against Spain on Sunday.

"Of course I want to stay, Liverpool is a great club with a great history," said Kuyt.

"We will have to see what happens but hopefully the manager wants me to stay.

"I spoke to people at the club and I know he wants to speak with me. But it is very difficult at the moment because we are so busy and focus on what lies ahead."

Updated throughout the day.



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see also
Thursday's World Cup round-up
08 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Wednesday's World Cup round-up
07 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Tuesday's World Cup round-up
06 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Monday's World Cup round-up
05 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Sunday's World Cup round-up
04 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Saturday's World Cup round-up
03 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Friday's World Cup round-up
02 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Thursday's World Cup round-up
01 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010


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