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England vs. Slovenia, US vs. Algeria on World Cup schedule Wednesday

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Two major match-ups today will decide who goes home and who proceeds to the second round of the 2010 World Cup. Perennial favorites England and Germany can't lose, or they'll be going home to countries of frustrated fans.

Wednesday (June 23):

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Of the four matches thus far in Group C, three have ended in a tie. That means that all teams in the first two matches of the day have a chance of proceeding to the next round of the World Cup. Only Slovenia has a win under its belt, but it's going against World Cup favorite England.

No. 14-ranked US is expected to top No. 30-ranked Algeria, according to FIFA's rankings. The game should be tight, as both teams had draws against England.

Of the four matches thus far in Group D, only one has ended in tie. This has put Ghana in the lead for overall points (with 4, from a win and a draw) and Australia in last place (with 1, from a loss and a draw). With Nigeria knocked out of the World Cup, and Ivory Coast almost certainly unable to make up its nine-goal deficit in the so-called Group of Death, Ghana is Africa's last hope in the World Cup. A tie today against Germany would guarantee it proceeds to the second round.

Check back with the Monitor for the latest World Cup news.

On Tuesday, Uruguay beat Mexico (1-0), South Africa upset France (2-1), Nigeria tied South Korea (2-2), and Argentina beat Greece (2-0). See all results at FIFA.com.

Download a PDF of the World Cup schedule from FIFA, and this ESPN fact sheet on its month-long coverage of the World Cup. Live television coverage on ESPN and Univision begins a half-hour before each match.

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IN PICTURES: Top 10 goals of the first week and 10 World Cup players to watch

World Cup 101:


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