Ukraine Vs England World Cup Qualifying Team News & Prediction Thread

Fabio takes his victorious side to Ukraine.

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Fabio Capello says he expects England to play with a positive attitude in Ukraine to try to maintain their 100% record in World Cup qualifying.
Eight wins from eight have seen England confirm their passage to South Africa.
But the manager said: “It is important always to play to win. I want to see the team play like before, with the same spirit and the same style.
“We have to improve in our movement, with the ball and without the ball, and we always try to do this better.”
Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott (calf) and Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson (hip) pulled out of Saturday’s match early in the week – to be replaced by Bolton centre-back Gary Cahill and Manchester City keeper Joe Hart.

Capello said there were no new injury problems, confirming the fitness of Rio Ferdinand, and announced he would pick the best 11 players available.
Ferdinand has played in only two of England’s last nine matches because of a back problem and a number of other injury concerns and the Manchester United defender admitted it had been a frustrating 12 months.
“I’d had 10-12 years of being virtually injury free so it has been difficult to adjust to having to sit on the sidelines every now and again,” said the 30-year-old.
“Whether it is club or country, it is very disappointing to have to go and sit in the stands and watch the team when it is playing.”
Declaring he was aiming to be “100%” fit for next year’s World Cup, he said: “You take it week by week and game by game and my ultimate aim is to be fit and remain fit.”
Ferdinand added that England’s impressive qualifying progress would be meaningless if they failed to perform in South Africa.
“It is important we peak for the World Cup. This campaign will soon be (tomorrow’s) fish and chip paper,” he added.
“We are not silly enough to think, that because we are doing well now, that it is going to entitle us to go on and win the World Cup.

Ferdinand is hoping to get a run of game under his belt
“We have got to go out there and perform. We have done the first part, which was the hard part, and that was to get there. Hopefully we can take our good form into a tournament.”
With the debate over who should be England’s goalkeeper rumbling on, Capello gave no clues as to whether David James or Robert Green would start in goal against Ukraine on Saturday.
“I have confidence in my keepers,” said Capello.
“We have had some problems before now. But with me they are always in good form.”
England’s 5-1 victory over Croatia in September ensured they could not be toppled as group winners, and their final match of the campaign is against Belarus at Wembley on 14 October.
England needed a late goal from John Terry to triumph against Ukraine at Wembley and Ferdinand admitted: “They have got some top players and we know we’ve got to perform well to win this game.
“They have also got a chance of qualifying still through the play-offs so they will be well up for the game as well.”
Capello has been in touch with all 55 players, including the likes of Manchester United’s Michael Owen, Hull’s Jimmy Bullard and Peterborough’s Joe Lewis, who have been named in his squads since he took over.
The players will be invited to attend Wednesday’s final qualifier against Belarus as Capello’s guests.
“All the players who were with us, in friendlies and qualifiers, were important,” he said.
“They were supporting us at every moment. They helped us to win every game to get to South Africa.
“I have not forgotten these players. Some of them were only here once but they were always in my mind and in my thoughts.
“We are grateful for what they have done for us. This is their reward.”
England squad for World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine and Belarus:

Goalkeepers: Paul Robinson (Blackburn), Robert Green (West Ham), David James (Portsmouth)
Defenders: Ashley Cole (Chelsea), John Terry (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Wayne Bridge (Manchester City), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), Wes Brown (Manchester United), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Matthew Upson (West Ham)
Midfielders: James Milner (Aston Villa), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham)
Strikers: Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Carlton Cole (West Ham), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) (BBC Sport)

Of course Fabio has already led England comfortably onto that plane to South Africa next summer but he doesn’t strike me as the kind of manager who would just sit back and allow the team to give in to complacency so I fully expect to see a strong England side, give or take a couple of experimental changes, to give this game all the attention it deserves.

Make no mistake though, this is a huge game for Ukraine. If they win they then they are pretty much assured of a place in the play-offs ahead of Croatia, knowing that they face minnows Andorra on Wednesday, a game that would seal their runners up spot.

My Prediction: 1-2 to England.

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