England fans preparing to witness soccer with a flair from their World Cup team may be disappointed, with midfielder Joe Cole cautioning that winning the tournament could require dull displays.

Cole believes the key to capturing the country's first world title since 1966 could be by stifling opponents.

"It might not be pretty," Cole warned ahead of Saturday's World Cup opener against the United States.

The performances leading up to the tournament provided little evidence of England being an attacking force in South Africa.

England relied on two own goals to overcome Japan, 2-1, and then put on a slack display against South Africa's Platinum Stars, provoking the wrath of coach Fabio Capello despite a 3-0 win.

North Koreans an enigma. A week after arriving for the World Cup, the North Korean team remains largely hidden from public view, sequestered behind the tightly guarded gates of a remote hotel in northern Johannesburg, with their meals prepared by a cook flown in from Pyongyang.

The Chollima - as they are called at home, after a winged horse prized in North Korean mythology - are the lowest ranked of the qualifiers and are in the toughest group.

But North Korea has a history of surprising top teams at the World Cup: In 1966, the last time it qualified, the squad from the reclusive communist state produced a stunning upset win over Italy to secure a quarterfinal spot.

Nearly as unknown now as they were 44 years ago, the North Koreans are banking on what may be their greatest asset as they prepare to face Brazil in their opening match: their unpredictability.

Most training sessions have been closed. Coach Kim Jong Hun made only the Japanese-born Jong Tae Se - the charismatic 26-year-old striker nicknamed "the People's Rooney" by South Korean media - available Wednesday for a news conference required by FIFA, soccer's governing body.

Kim may well want to use the relative anonymity to his team's tactical advantage.

Only three play overseas and the team has made few international appearances in recent years, giving opponents little chance to study strengths and weaknesses.

The North Koreans' names are so unfamiliar that almost no one noticed that coach Kim listed a top striker as a goalkeeper when he submitted his final World Cup squad.