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England Vs Belarus World Cup Qualifying Team News & Prediction Thread

Fabio will be looking for a good performance to end a great World Cup qualifying campaign.

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Soccer: Training & Press Conference - England MAR 31

England manager Fabio Capello will start with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Peter Crouch for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Belarus at Wembley.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is ruled out with a calf injury, so Aston Villa striker Agbonlahor will make his competitive England debut.
“We need to play other styles, style A, B, C,” said Capello. “I want to see some players in different positions.”

Liverpool‘s Steven Gerrard will be missing because of a groin injury.
The midfielder, who sustained the problem in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Ukraine, limped out of training on Tuesday and will now return to Merseyside.
With the enforced absence of two of his most influential players, as well as Jermain Defoe, Joe Cole and Owen Hargreaves, Capello said he wants to explore different options now that England have secured their World Cup 2010 place in South Africa.

Agbonlahor has made only two starts for England, while the 6ft 7in Crouch has scored 16 goals in 34 appearances.
“We played always more or less the same style in all the games we’ve played,” said the Italian.
“Sometimes, during the friendly games, we’ve changed it. But we need to practise other styles. I want to see some players in different positions.
“When I decide the squad, I decide always different styles that I can play with it with the players who will be with me. Why wouldn’t they have that capacity?”
Meanwhile, David James faces a late fitness assessment after sitting out Tuesday’s training session with a knee problem.
The Portsmouth keeper was favourite to replace Robert Green – who is suspended following his dismissal against Ukraine – but he has developed some pain in his knee and Capello will speak to the 39-year-old early on Wednesday before making a decision.
Fit-again Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster has been called up as further cover for Green, having been omitted from the initial squad because of bruising to his ribs.
Capello also offered reassuring support for central defender Rio Ferdinand, whose mistake led in Dnipropetrovsk led to Green’s red card on Saturday.
“I spoke with Rio, on Monday and this morning, and I will speak also with some other players,” said Capello.
“We will see the DVD of the game to understand what happened, and I will see the mistakes.
“I spoke with him about the moment, and different things. It was only about the last game. He’s a good man, a big man, an important player for England and United.” (BBC Sport)

After the relative disaster against Ukraine the England lads will be keen to sign off on a high and they should have far to much for the decidedly average Belarus side who’s only wins thus far have come against Andorra and Kazakhstan.

Rio Ferdinand will be keen to make amends for his poor performance on the weekend but it should not be forgotten that in the last past 18 months or so he has been pretty much ever dependable for club and country. It will be interesting to see how Gabriel Agbonlahor and Peter Crouch fare together, its a combination that on the face of it should work well and the Aston Villa man is bang in form and deserves his chance in a competitive match.

My Prediction: 4-0 to England.


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