England vs Egypt – Capello looks to pencil in friendly for March

15th December 2009 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

There could be an England vs Egypt battle at Wembley next March, as England build up towards South Africa 2010. Fabio Capello has started sending out messages to potential England squad players, that there is still time to get fit enough to play at the World Cup 2010. Capello, a strict disciplinarian when it comes to players being fit, has insisted that he will not risk taking injured, nor players who are not playing for their domestic side. England have confirmed that their training facilities will be based in Rustenburg, and despite some initial concerns over the state of the training pitches, the England management have been ensured that everything will be ship shape for England’s arrival in June 2010.

So now all Fabio Capello has to concern himself with, is selecting his squad. When the time comes to pick the final 23, there is unlikely to be any major surprises, nor within Capello’s preliminary squad of 30. It is a fair bet that he has the thirty players in mind who he will select, but the Italian has left the door open for players to try and fight their way into the squad. The most notable names who Capello has put forth, is that of Manchester United duo Owen Hargreaves and Michael Owen. Hargreaves hasn’t pulled on an England shirt for over a year, but his versatility makes the midfielder a good squad player. Even if he plays his way back to full fitness, it is unlikely that he would be able to out Gareth Barry from the defensive role in the team.

But Hargreaves is the type of the player that Capello likes, because he can fill in at different positions. If Hargreaves, who is back in training can get fully fit, and break his way back into the Manchester United line-up, then there may be a glimmer of hope for him to make the final 23. There is a similar story surrounding Michael Owen, who Capello was reportedly stated as calling him a tormentor, because of all the fuss surrounding him. He is not the Michael Owen of World Cup’s past and cannot even hold down a first team spot in Manchester. His recent hat trick in Europe threw more fuel onto the fire about whether he should be selected or not, especially because of his international experience.

But there is a crop of young England strikers all vying for a place, and that will make Owen’s task even more difficult. Aston Villa’s Gaby Agbonlahor, West Ham’s Carlton Cole, Peter Crouch, Emile Heskey, Jermain Defoe and of course Wayne Rooney are all in the picture to book one of the limited spaces, and it is hard to see who Owen would replace out of them. In terms of International football, there is not much time to get before the World Cup starts. There is likely only to be a couple more matches for Capello to get his squad narrowed down, and of course a lot of it will depend on who is still fit at the end of an arduous Premier League season.

As far as friendly Internationals go as warm ups for South Africa 2010, it is looking likely that England will play against Egypt at Wembley on March 3, 2010. The England boss also wants to pit his men against Mexico, if the two nations can find a date which suits them both. Nothing has been decided for definite yet, but this is the route which England’s travels to the 2010 World Cup will most likely take them. These types of friendlies hold more importance for England, than just turning out against another team from Europe. If they can play teams from different continents, then they will be exposed to different styles of play, whether it is trying to break down stubborn defensive formations or seeing how to deal with a more technical side. An England vs Egypt match for example, is the type of game, with the World Cup on the South African horizon, that will be all important, sharp learning curves for Capello and his World Cup 2010 squad.

England are currently 11/2 at SkyBet to win the World Cup
Michael Owen is currently a long 9/2 shot at Expekt to make the World Cup Squad

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