Saudi Arabia will face Ukraine today in their second match in the World Cup. It is expected to be a tough match, as both teams will try their best to win in order to improve their chances to qualify to the next stage. Saudis, although feeling they were robbed the win when Tunisia equalized them in injury time, are ready for the match and are enjoying a good spirit. Ukraine, in the other hand, are trying to get over their shocking 4-0 defeat at the hands of Spain. I don’t feel like talking much about the game, so I will leave you with some links: the German Spiegel has a preview of the match. The story quotes Paqueta, head coach of Saudi Arabia, saying “Ukraine is a weak team,” which the Brazilian completely denied. “I did not say that! I did not say that! That’s not true…It’s crazy. It’s wrong,” he told FIFAWorldCup.com. Actually, he is expecting to face an aggressive Ukraine side. Paqueta also praised Andriy Shevchenko, and said he will make sure that the ball never reaches him.
Upon arrival to Hamburg, Paqueta has complained about the cold weather. Lucky for him, the weather will be warmer today with temperatures between 23-29°C and sunny intervals. I hope the loss of Mohammed Al Shlhoub, who flew last night to Riyadh after his mother passed away, will not affect on the team morale which was at its best in the past few days. “We told him before he left that we will be trying extra hard for him,” Sami Al Jaber, the captain, said about his team-mate. Al Jaber also said they are ready for the challenge, and admitted that the Ukrainians are physically stronger. “We will undoubtedly have to raise our game in that department. We have to compete physically, we just have to, there is no other way,” he added.