Wembley sold out

October 3, 2008

The Theo Walcott-factor has allowed the FA to post sold-out notices up already for next Saturday's World Cup qualifier with Kazakhstan.

It is only six weeks since England were booed off after the 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic and coach Fabio Capello admitted it was easier for his team to play away from Wembley.

However, Walcott's hat-trick in the outstanding 4-1 win in Croatia has seen supporters begin to fall back in love with the Three Lions and 90,000 will watch England's final home game of 2008 as Capello's men look to continue their winning start to Group Six.

With away games in Belarus on October 15 and a friendly in Germany a month later, there will be no further opportunities to see England in action on home soil this year.

But the FA hope to ride the current wave of optimism into 2009 when England resume their campaign to reach South Africa by tackling the Ukraine at Wembley in April.

The game is immediately preceded by a home encounter with Slovakia on March 28, with further qualifying games at Wembley against Andorra and Slovenia before the key confrontation with Croatia on September 9.

Capello is due to announce his squad for the Kazakhstan encounter on Sunday, with Wayne Rooney expected to be involved despite picking up an ankle knock during Manchester United's midweek Champions League win over Aalborg.