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Argentina: Despite their inconsistent showing in South American qualifying, the potential of Diego Maradona's squad remains vast given the plethora of world-class talents at his disposal. The greatest challenge for this relatively inexperienced coach will be knitting these proven individuals into a cohesive and reliable unit, something he has been unable to do thus far.

Nigeria: Though lacking as many household names as in previous FIFA World Cup outings, coach Shaibu Amodu can call on a balanced squad made up of experienced performers and up-and-coming starlets.

Korea Republic: Under the steady guidance of coach Huh Jung-Moo, the South Koreans were less than imperious during the qualifying phase, though they did end up topping their group in the final round. Clinching a ticket to South Africa means they will become the Asian team with most appearances at the global showpiece, though doubts remain over their ability to transfer their regional dominance on to the biggest stage of all.

Greece: The archetypal 'hard nut to crack' under Otto Rehhagel, the 2004 European champions return to world football’s top table for the first time since their debut in 1994. Greece though is a very young and talented team, which could be a real contender in the 2010 World Cup

The players to watch
Lionel Messi (ARG), Javier Mascherano (ARG), Carlos Tevez (ARG), Juan Veron (ARG), Park Ji-Sung (KOR), Park Chu-Young (KOR), Obafemi Martins (NIG), Aiyegbeni Yakubu (NIG), Georgios Karagounis (GRE) and Theofanis Gekas (GRE).


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