Friday, 28 May 2010

It is the Final Countdown!

With only two weeks to go until the start of the World Cup, it is about time to wake this blog up from its hibernation. I have been rather tardy with keeping it up to date, relying mostly on Twitter as I was busier than anticipated with some other things. At the same time, Slovak press has been relatively calm, and the Slovak football scene without any major developments, so you have not missed out on much.

Just as every other World Cup participant, Slovakia is also currently gearing up towards the big occasion, with its provisional squad working hard in a training camp in Bad Kleinkirchheim, near Klagenfurt, Austria.

Slovakia's 29-man provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: Ján Mucha (Legia Warsaw), Dušan Kuciak (SC Vaslui), Ľuboš Kamenár (FC Nantes), Dušan Perniš (Dundee United)

Defenders: Peter Pekarík (VfL Wolfsburg), Martin Petráš (AC Cesena), Martin Škrtel (FC Liverpool), Ľubomír Michalík (Leeds United), Ján Ďurica (Hannover 96), Radoslav Zabavník (1. FSV Mainz), Marek Čech (West Bromwich Albion), Kornel Saláta (Slovan Bratislava), Tomáš Hubočan (Zenit Petrohrad)

Midfielders: Kamil Kopúnek (Spartak Trnava), Ján Kozák (FC Timisoara), Juraj Kucka (Sparta Prague), Miroslav Karhan (1. FSV Mainz), Marek Sapara (MKE Ankaragücü), Mário Pečalka (MŠK Žilina), Marek Hamšík (SSC Napoli), Vladimír Weiss Jr. (Bolton Wanderers), Erik Jendrišek (1. FC Kaiserslautern), Miroslav Stoch (Twente Enschede), Zdeno Štrba (Škoda Xanthi), Dušan Švento (FC Salzburg)

Forwards: Stanislav Šesták (VfL Bochum), Martin Jakubko (Saturn Moscow Oblast), Róbert Vittek (MKE Ankaragücü), Filip Hološko (Besiktas Istanbul)

The team's first real test is coming right up, as it is to face an Eto'o-less Cameroon  on Saturday [29/05] at 2pm CET in Klagenfurt. It should be noted that the same stadium is hosting Serbia v. New Zealand on the same day [5.15pm CET].

Coach Weiss released the starting XI earlier on today, opting in for an interesting 4-3-3 formation:

D. Kuciak - Pekarík, Škrtel, J. Ďurica, M. Čech - Kopúnek, Kucka, J. Kozák - Stoch, Jendrišek, Hamšík.

Expect a full article, with proper game analysis, players' comments, photos and video highlights at some point on Sunday. I am also planning to watch the New Zealand game ["Keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer"] and might do something similar  [albeit much shorter] with their match too.
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