The blog will start ticking over for real on Wednesday, first full day in South Africa for us. Until then these posts keep it fed and reasonably happy. Here's your headlines to debate and comment on. Website will have more, no doubt, and we'll try and update some later:
This one could cut deep if it's serious: Didier Drogba on the limp, out of today's Ivory Coast-Japan tuner.
In the England camp, creaky Rio Ferdinand is back in sick bay
Spanish sports daily Marca has a couple nifty digital offerings:
First, all 736 World Cup players on a single page
And second, a schedule calendar wheel.
Here's Saturday's friendlies list, the Coles Notes version:South Africa vs Denmark: Crowds have been building for the Bafana Bafana and they should get a send-off here that'll carry them all the way to Friday's opener.
Switzerland vs Italy (GolTV, 2:40 p.m. eastern): Getaway game for both teams in Geneva. Italy need to show more than that huffing and puffing 2-1 loss to Mexico on Thursday. They'll get a very straightforward and stolid opponent here in Switzerland, in an equally searching mode.
Netherlands vs Hungary: Dutch attack doesn't need much fine-tuning, but the question is who sits. They have that many options, and Dirk Kuyt may well be odd man out.
Australia vs United States. A final Jo-burg runout for two teams with grand aspirations and blue-ribbon opening-game opponents: Aussies facing Germany, USA vs. England. The essential Jozy Altidore is hobbling for the U.S., while Harry Kewell is finally fit for Aussies.
Algeria vs UAE; Serbia vs Cameroon; Ghana vs Latvia; Slovakia vs Costa Rica; Romania vs Honduras.