England player ratings from US game / World Cup predictions for today’s Group C and Group D games

Green - a great second half save probably won't rescue him after the terrible error which gifted the US an equaliser (4)

Ashley Cole - solid but must do more going forward (6)

Terry – occasionally troubled but otherwise his usual dependent self (6)

King - seemed to be coping until enforced withdrawal raised more questions marks about his fitness (6)

Johnson - excellent going forward and only troubled when his positioning let him down (6)

Milner - struggled and may still be recovering from virus (4)

Gerrard - took his goal superbly and was his usual driving force before fading (7)

Lampard - unlucky with one long-range effort but too often not in the game (6)

Lennon – apart from some rare promising situations, he ran into one too many blind alleys for my liking and spurned an excellent first half chance (5)

Rooney - nullified by resolute defending and forced to drop deep in search of the ball, nevertheless he remained a threat until the end (6)

Heskey - exceeded expectations in his support play but missed a golden chance in the second half (6)


Carragher - outpaced at times and booked for a late tackle, he did little to enhance his prospects of a starting place against Algeria (5)

Wright-Phillips – introduced for Milner, he failed to make the most of his pace (5)

Crouch - introduced too late to make a meaningful contribution

Elsewhere, bravo South Korea; and Argentina are looking dangerous. Any team that can afford to leave Milito on the bench shouldn’t be discounted

Three more games today, with one of my dark horses (Serbia) getting a first run out.

Algeria v Slovenia (Polokwane) 12.30pm

The supposed whipping boys of Group C get their clash out of the way today. Whoever wins could be set for a successful group stage. So we can probably expect a stalemate. Both sides have stiffer tests to come.

Prediction: DRAW

Serbia v Ghana (Tshwane/Pretoria) 3pm

An Essien-less Ghana versus a side which could give the Germans a run for their money in this group. Compact, comfortable in possession and capable of speedy counterattacking, Serbia may be a team to watch. Unless they lose today.

Prediction: Serbia WIN

Germany v Australia (Durban) 7.30pm

They don’t have the best of squads but you won’t catch me expecting Germany to mess this one up. Harry Kewell may have recovered from his latest hair band accident in time to play 45 minutes before limping off. The gimp.

Prediction: Germany WIN

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