Five mouth-watering World Cup preliminary clashes you cannot miss...
June 13 (Fri) Spain vs Holland
A repeat of the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa. Just that one would not expect Holland to put up a jaded show as they did four years ago. Spain's Andres Iniesta, who took the Cup away from the Oranje with his strike then, will again be the playmaker to watch!
Spain 4 wins; 13 goals
Holland 4 wins; 10 goals
June 14 (Sat) England vs Italy
Being England's first match of this World Cup, the build-up to the game will be exciting as hell. Add to this, the involvement of Italy's maverick striker Mario Balotelli and the game promises to be a sure-shot firecracker.
England 8 wins; 30 goals
Italy 9 wins; 27 goals
June 16 (Mon) Germany vs Portugal
Germany have historically dominated the Portuguese given their 9-3 head-to-head lead. However, Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is on a high having recently won the Champions League with Real Madrid. German striker Mesut Ozil is in top form too.
Germany 9 wins; 25 goals
Portugal 3 wins; 16 goals
June 19 (Thur) England vs Uruguay
Europe vs South America or physicality vs flair battle is one to be lapped up. Throw in another maverick striker Luis Suarez and it will only add to the excitement. More so as he is up against his Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard who leads the Englishmen.
England 3 wins; 10 goals
Uruguay 4 wins; 13 goals
June 24 (Tue) Italy vs Uruguay
Touted as the battle of the mavericks — Balotelli vs Suarez — the clash is also the last league match for both teams and their fate in the tournament could depend on it. Veteran forward Diego Forlan is known to excel in such pressure-cooker situations.
Italy 2 wins; 7 goals
Uruguay 2 wins; 7 goals