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Capello likely to play Crouch and Joe Cole

Source : COLUMNS
Last Updated: Wed, Jun 23, 2010 05:01 hrs
​Football

​We have four titanic struggles for qualification to look forward to. Fabio Capello's England were supposed to win Group C easily. Instead they find themselves with just two points from two games and having to beat surprise table-toppers Slovenia to avoid an early flight home.

Wayne Rooney has seemed a frustrated shadow of the great player we all admire. Lampard and Gerrard failed to perform against Algeria. Heskey hasn't come close to scoring, and John Terry has led a defence that does not inspire confidence.



FIFA World Cup

All that could change however with a victory in Port Elizabeth. Slovenia just need a draw and look for coach Kek to use a compact 4-4-2 formation. It will be interesting to see if they have the confidence to attack England. Look for Capello to put life into his team with Crouch and possibly Joe Cole starting from the beginning. It’s not an easy game but I expect to see England in the last 16.

The USA staged a dramatic comeback against Slovenia, led by Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley. They will feel they were robbed of a win, but no matter, Algeria did them a great favour by drawing with England. If the USA win, they qualify, so look for them to come out attacking from the start. Algeria played very well against England, particularly defender Bougherra, and Lacen, Boudebouz and Ziani, but they will have to show more ambition to win this game.

Coach Bradley makes sure his team are in good physical condition and they will be ready for what will be a dramatic battle. Look for Demerit and Onyewu to keep a solid defence for the USA, while Dempsey, Bradley and Donovan will look to combine with Altidore to get the goals, the three points and a place in the knockout stages.

Had Ghana defeated 10-man Australia, qualification would have been assured. Instead they must get at least a draw against Germany to be sure of going through. Despite their position at the top of the Group, however, Ghana's defence has looked uncertain at times, while their attack is so far unconvincing.

For the Germans, the position is worse - they need to win or risk being eliminated, unthinkable after the first game against Australia. They will miss the red-carded Klose but in Ozil, Podolski, Schweinsteiger and Khedira, they have good attacking players.

Their defence has looked solid and without the red card, the result against Serbia may have been different. Coach Rajevac will have to regain the form and spirit they showed when defeating Serbia or risk being outgunned by the Germans. Look for Sulley Muntari to play a bigger part in this game for Ghana, whose pace and power has the potential to trouble Germany.

Asia Cup
       
Serbia will qualify if they defeat Australia: quite a turnaround after their first game defeat to Ghana. This is not an easy task though, with the Australians getting a better result against Ghana with their ten men than Serbia could manage.

The Aussies play with real spirit and I was impressed by the talented Mark Bresciano and experienced striker Kennedy. They should also have talisman Tim Cahill back from suspension. Coach Verbeek will probably play the same 4-2-3-1 formation to try and get the three points and hope for an unlikely qualification.

Serbia were a different team against the Germans and look for Jovanovich and Zigic to give the Australian defence some problems. Coach Antic will probably go with a 4-4-2 formation and play in a similar way as they did when defeating Germany. Serbia will start favourites but Australia showed they have fighting spirit and some quality - both teams must go for a win and I expect an exciting game.

Professional Management Group



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