Groups E and F conclude with some real crackers. In Group E, USA face a must-win match against the one African side who have looked worth their place at the tournament, Ghana. They’ll qualify if they win and Italy beat the Czechs. In Group F, Croatia must beat Australia (ethnic-Croat captain Mark Viduka and all) to progress. Expect a few cards in this one. Those who want to see what happens when Japanese fans finally lose patience with their players can watch the World Champions take on the team which looks as if it can’t buy a goal from its strikers.
Talking of which, in a tournament where pace and width are proving match-winners, England’s star-struck manager will persist with a player whose only contribution is to stand on his left foot while he swings the right foot it the ball - persist with this, with Lennon warming the bench, all the way to elimination in teh Quarter Finals.