Upcoming England friendlies against Mexico and Japan

18th May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

Ahead of the upcoming England friendlies against Mexico and Japan, England’s provisional World Cup squad has flown out to their training in camp in Austria, in order to get some altitude acclimatisation. The squad, which included some surprises such as Joe Cole, Darren Bent and Michael Dawson and Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher who has come out of international retirement travelled as planned on Monday, despite worries over travel restrictions. Now Fabio Capello will get the chance to look at some of these surprise inclusions, with the forthcoming pair of international friendly matches against Mexico and Japan. The first friendly, against Mexico on May 24th, is back at Wembley, so England will fly back there, and then make a second altitude camp back in Austria, ahead of their friendly against Japan, in Austria, on May 30th. This is a good chance to eye up the squad, ahead of taking advantage of World Cup Odds on England winning the tournament outright.

The plan is to work on the fitness of the England players at higher altitude, which may come into effect in South Africa, even though two of their three group matches will be played at sea level. Chelsea’s four England players who were involved in the FA Cup final on Saturday, along with Portsmouth’s David James, did not travel with the main squad. It is after the England v Japan match on May 30th, that Fabio Capello will trim his squad down to the 23 men who he will take with him to Rustenburg, England’s base for the World Cup. These two matches will be important warm up’s for England, especially in light of the injury to Gareth Barry, one of the key midfielders in England’s successful qualification campaign. Here are the dates for the friendly matches ahead of England’s World Cup Fixtures.

Forthcoming England Friendlies
May 24th: England v Mexico, Wembley
May 30th: England v Japan, Graz

Capello announced that he may consider changing formation, simply because Manchester City’s Barry was not there to do his defensive midfield role, which highlights worries over the strength of depth that England have. The same can be said of his decision to only pick one recognised right back in Glen Johnson. Capello banks on the efficient 4-4-2 and has not changed from that during his England tenure, but has suggested that he may have to change things up by switching to a wing-back system. It is a formation which may suit attacking full backs Glen Johnson and Ashley Cole, and it is the formation which England used at Italia ‘90. But England fans will be more guarded after seeing the formation fail to get them to Euro 2008, in a heartbreaking defeat against Croatia under Steve McLaren.

Is a formation change at this late stage, a big gamble by the England boss? Betting on England at the World Cup has not shifted since the naming of the provisional squads, and they are still regarded as one of the strongest teams there. Ahead of the main event though, they have these two international friendly matches to negotiate their way through. Perhaps a new system will be tested, or perhaps Capello will put his faith in someone like Spurs’ Tom Huddlestone to step in and fill the void that the injured Gareth Barry has left behind.


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