Knock-out stage could start early for England

England face a winner-takes-all clash with Slovenia in Group C on Wednesday.
The knock-out stages might be a week away, but England face a do-or-die date this week and Fabio Capello says it's one of the biggest game of his distinguished career.

After two draws against the USA and Algeria, England must win in Port Elizabeth against the World Cup's smallest nation, Slovenia to make it through to the last 16 and keep England World Cup odds to win alive.

Despite two below-par performances Fabio Capello's men are the overwhelming favourites to win the game at odds of 4/9. Capello is set to make changes to his side after the Cape Town debacle against Algeria - one of which is enforced with Jamie Carragher suspended.

Matthew Upson will replace Carragher and become John Terry's third central defensive partner in three group games. I still would have Dawson in there ahead of the guy that was a member of the team that nearly got West Ham relegated. The duo have played together plenty of times in qualifying and will be confident of keeping Slovenia quiet. Going forward England certainly haven't clicked into gear and Slovenia are sure to try and stifle Capello's men with a five-man midfield.

Whether the Three Lions match up to Slovenia in midfield and play Wayne Rooney on his own is debatable, but another area Capello will be keen to improve on is set-pieces.

England have failed to trouble their opponents from corners and set-pieces so far and it might be worth punting on Terry (who I think should have been on the same plane as Anelka) (22/1) and Upson (40/1) to get it right on Wednesday.

Both are expected to get forward for dead-ball situations and one of the towering centre-backs might prove to be the key to unlock the Slovenian defence.

Meanwhile, now is also a good time to get some money on the Italy and Spain World Cup odds to win. Both have made slow starts, so now is the time to back them!

_________________________________________________
Follow our rants on Twitter

Read our latest Evening Standard Blog


Have you got an iPod or mp3 player? If you love listening to audiobooks, click here....

Big Chiv: My Goals in Life - Get it now!

0 Response to "Knock-out stage could start early for England"

Post a Comment