England v USA preview
Published : 12 Jun 2010 22:51:31Rss feed
Fabio Capello, the England coach, will keep a country guessing as he will not name his side to face USA until shortly before kick-off in Rustenburg. The only thing he gave away on Friday was that midfielder Gareth Barry had recovered from his injury, but would not be risked in the Three Lions' opening game in Group C. That leaves England supporters pondering several selections issues. We do not know who will be in goal, and cannot be sure of the midfield four, defensive four or who will partner Wayne Rooney up front. The full England squad trained on Friday, meaning Capello has a full-squad to choose from. David James appeared to be first-choice keeper heading into the tournament. The Portsmouth player is the most experienced of the three keepers in the squad with 50 caps, has been given the No.1 jersey and was first-choice throughout qualifying. But suggestions from media in South Africa on Friday night were that the West Ham keeper Robert Green would be given the nod. Ledley King looks likely to be paired alongside John Terry in defence, though given his infamous injury problems there are doubts whether he will be able to reprise that role in future fames. That would leave Jamie Carragher, who came out of international retirement for this game, having to settle for a place on the bench assuming Glen Johnson continues to be preferred at right-back. No one seems to know who will play where in midfield, although Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard seem certain to play. Media speculation suggested Michael Carrick could be used in the holding role normally played by Barry, which would leave Gerrard likely to move to one of the wings. Up front Emile Heskey appears certain to partner Rooney, with Peter Crouch having to settle for a place on the bench. Bob Bradley, the USA coach, is under no doubts who his side must stop if they are to avoid defeat. "I would concede stopping Rooney is the key to our chances of success," he said. "He's such an important player in their team. He comes here off a super season. Our ability to keep track of him and make life hard for him is a key part of us making sure we can win." USA will recall Jozy Altidore, who spent last season on loan at Hull City from Villareal but failed to make an impact in the Premier League. He is likely to partner Edson Bundle, who netted twice against Australia in a pre-tournament friendly.
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