Thursday, 20 March 2008

Skechers Knit Booties

While none of this is conducive to remarkable soccer, it merely adds spice to an early tournament classic.

Skechers Knit Booties

The monorail and the fast bus lanes that were supposed to have linked the stadium to the rest of the city were never built. Construction for the $400 million stadium was difficult. A section of the roof collapsed during rainstorms. Last month a state of emergency was declared when floodwaters from an Amazon River tributary, on which Manaus lies, threatened four areas of the city.

While it may catch up to them later in the tournament, in the first game they are all 25 again, with dreams of Skechers For Men

But the most intriguing will take place Saturday in Manaus, when England and Vans All Red Skate Shoes

Manaus is in the middle of nowhere. While the area is an ecological, Amazonian splendour, Manaus itself is hardly remarkable.

So why play it there?

Skechers Knit Booties

Skechers Knit Booties

At its most mundane, the England Italy rivalry can be classified as engaging. At its worse, it can be described as ardent. These are two nations that have never had great love for each other.

Italy, too, would be happy with a point.

Skechers Knit Booties

The isolated city of Manaus was not spared the issues the other 11 host cities faced in terms of infrastructure and projection completion issues.

Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon for Italy and Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard for the Three Lions will have to draft their bodies through the heat and dampness of Brazil. Vans Yellow Old Skool

The teams are similar in many ways. Their leaders and key players are aging veterans for which Brazil is going to be their last kick at the World Cup can.

Skechers Knit Booties

In Brazil they join Uruguay and Costa Rica as the most riveting group of the tournament.

Skechers Knit Booties

Both teams realize losing this game will leave them chasing the group after only one game and staring down a match with Uruguay.

Skechers Knit Booties

In the wrong headed decision to hold the tournament in 12 cities, Manaus needed to be given a plum and England Italy is a plum.

Skechers Knit Booties

Italy open their tournament.

The pitch has been undergoing repairs in recent months. The grass was undernourished and then burned because of excessive use of fertilizer.

The biggest question being asked before the game is 'Why put these two teams in Manaus?'

The Amazonia Arena surface is bare and dry in places, with lines running along the pitch as well as a variety of other construction issues still to be completed.

writing the final chapter of their World Cup story with a victory.

There will be arguments over which preliminary game is the most attractive. There's Spain against the Netherlands, Chile taking on the Netherlands, Portugal vs. Germany and maybe even Uruguay vs. Italy.

The grumbling about the heat, humidity and location looked to be all talked out, leaving room for the more important aspect of who was going to play against whom and what would be the keys to the contest. But two days before the vital game the landscape jumped to the forefront again.

Both England and Italy will swelter in those conditions.

The Italians would love to win but it isn't as big as the ingrained part Skechers Knit Booties of their soccer psyche that says "a win is important but what's more important is not losing."

The difference though is that Manaus is a hotbox with 100% humidity.

Skechers Knit Booties

Stakes are high for England and Italy in opener

That alone has fattened the stakes considerably for the two rivals. While England manager Roy Hodgson says "we never play to draw," England would be happy getting away with one point.

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Skechers Knit Booties

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