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Slovakia's World Cup Preview: The Team

Radio-äktiv Bardejov
Creative Commons License photo credit: izarbeltza

THE PAST

A nation that wasn’t formed until the early 1990’s, Slovakia will be playing in their first ever World Cup final this season.  The young nation has experienced their fair share of heartbreak over the last decade in the WCQ.  In 2005 Slovakia was runners up in their division and earned the playoff spot over Russia.  But they had the unfortunate match-up of Spain in the playoffs for a World Cup berth and the dream ended there.  In 1997 the exact same challenge would be made matching Spain with the inexperienced squad.  And of course that WCQ had the same unlucky result.   

THE PRESENT

Slovakia was the winners of their challenging European group that included three teams with a higher world ranking then the young nation.  Czech Republic (8), Poland (29), and Northern Ireland (32), were the three supposed strongest teams of the group, but Slovakia never lost a single match to any of them.  In fact it was second place Slovenia that gave the club the most headaches this WCQ beating them twice.  However Slovakia finished strong with a 1-0 victory over Poland to secure first place and their first World Cup berth in history.

THE PREDICTION

Most gambling sites have Slovakia around 250 to 1 odds making them the perfect team to gamble on if you discovered five dollars in that pair of jeans you just had laundered.  But to be honest Slovakia is the eight weakest team in the Cup by these odds and that really isn’t too fair considering the strong teams the club had to beat in order to achieve their first World Cup.  In their group Italy and Paraguay are the unquestioned favorites, but the club did get the good fortune of facing New Zealand which is one of the few teams with a worse line.  They will likely not make it to the second round, but then again nobody thought they would make it all.   

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