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What to look for at Wembley?
by Paul Kennedy, May 24th, 2010 2:14AM
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TAGS:  england, men's national team, world cup


[ENGLAND] A day before its first warmup against the Czech Republic in Connecticut, Bob Bradley and his U.S. coaching staff will keeping an eye on what's happening Monday at Wembley Stadium, where England, its first opponent at the World Cup, faces Mexico (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, Telemundo, noon ET). What should we look for from England?

What formation will be employed?

England has played a 4-4-2 or 4-3-1-2 formation for most of Coach Fabio Capello's tenure, but he has been thinking of going with just three defenders and five midfielders as he says he used to do with Roma.

"I have to study the opponents," Capello said, "but we can play different styles and we have to prepare for everything. You never know when you will get an injury, or find yourself 10 against 11. Sometimes I have changed the style four or five times in a game, so it is important that we have a lot of options.''

Who will play in goal?

Capello said he'll start Joe Hart and probably use Robert Green in the second half. (David James is being rested.)

"Hart has played a lot of games this season and has improved a lot," said Capello. "It is very equal between the keepers and they are all starting in the same position.''

Where will Ledley King line up?

Knee problems prevented King from training during England's stay in the Austrian Alps, but he could play against Mexico.

He'll probably line up in the back next to Rio Ferdinand -- John Terry and rest of the Chelsea players in the England squad are being rested -- but Capello may look at King in the midfield role held up Gareth Barry, who is sidelined with an ankle injury.

How will the outside midfielders perform?

The most wide open battle in the England squad concerns its outside midfielders. Aaron Lennon is likely to start in the left side against. He's probably the only outside midfielder who is assured of going to South Africa.

Theo Walcott is second on the depth chart with Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joe Cole and Adam Johnson all needing strong showings in the next week to make the 23.

  1. Nat S. Harty
    commented on: May 24, 2010 at 1:32 p.m.
    Adam Johnson is a "sleeper" - Capello would be well advised to give this kid a chance to shine with the NT. He can play on either side, makes incisive passes, has ability to score and can also provide defensice cover, and he is young.....what's not to like?

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