A lot of people seemed to lack confidence in Bob Bradley picking the more attacking midfield that this game is begging for, but he has thrown Jose Torres in instead of Ricardo Clark after all. Robbie Findley keeps his place alongside Jozy Altidore though, with Herculez Gomez still on the bench. The Slovenians, however, have altered things up front – Zlatan Ljubijankic coming in for Zlatko Dedic. That switch means less hustle and bustle but a better target for long balls.
Is it too early to settle the nerves with a quick snifter of something high-percentage?
USA (4-4-2): Tim Howard, Steve Cherundolo, Jay DeMerit, Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Landon Donovan, Jose Torres, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Robbie Findley.
Slovenia (4-4-2): Samir Handanovic, Miso Brecko, Marko Suler, Bostjan Cesar, Bojan Jokic, Vlater Birsa, Robert Koren, Aleksander Radosavljevic, Andraz Kirm, Zlatan Ljubijankic, Milivoje Novakovic.
A quick call for score predictions has come down firmly in favour of a USA win, with 2-1 the scoreline most people fancy. And I’m also assured that it’s not too early to down a drink or two. “May I suggest a dram (or two) of Edradour 10 year single malt Whisky?” enquires Joel. “Smooth to the last drop.”
Anthems analysis: The Slovenian players sound out of tune, but then I am tone deaf. Couldn't hold a note with a handle on it, me. USA players are doing hands on shoulders again, but not much singing. Several Elvises in the crowd are giving it a good go, though. Oh, and Abe Lincoln. No wonder Donovan's dabbing his eyes.