England have no new injury worries as they start their World Cup campaign against Paraguay in Frankfurt this afternoon. Steven Gerrard is expected to play having trained yesterday despite a minor back problem while Blues trio John Terry, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole will all start. Wayne Bridge is likely to be on the bench. Trinidad and Tobago take on Sweden in Dortmund in Group B’s other fixture.
The first game in Group C provides an interesting contest for Chelsea fans this evening as Didier Drogba and Hernan Crespo go head-to-head when tournament debutants Ivory Coast take on two-time winners Argentina in Hamburg. Crespo’s men will mindful that Argentina lost their opening match to Cameroon in 1990 as defending champions and will need a good start in the ‘Group of Death’. Arsenal defensive duo Emmanuel Eboue and Kolo Toure and St. Etienne midfielder Didier Zokora, a target for Manchester United and Tottenham, will all appear for the Elephants.
Germany opened proceedings yesterday afternoon with a 4-2 over Costa Rica, capped by an early contender for goal of the tournament from midfielder Torsten Frings. Michael Ballack did not take part despite having declared himself fit while Robert Huth was an unused substitute. Elsewhere in Group A, Poland suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to Ecuador which leaves them needing a win against the hosts to avoid an early exit.
And finally… COME ON ENGLAND!