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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 4, 2007

The pressure is all on England - Tal

Israel midfielder Idan Tal believes the pressure will be on England to deliver at Wembley in the clash on Saturday that could determine who reaches Euro 2008.

Steve McClaren's men need their first win at the refurbished national stadium to get back on track in Group E, with Israel in second place heading into the weekend.

Losing to Germany in a friendly last month added to the pressure McClaren has been under, and Tal is aware of the scrutiny the England boss is under going into the double-header over the next week, with Russia also coming to Wembley.

Tal, 31, played for Bolton last season and got a close look at the criticism McClaren faced in his first year after taking over from Sven-Goran Eriksson.

He said: 'It's true, I know. I heard when I was in England last season and read everything about the manager.

'They are under pressure but still they are at home with their support so it will be difficult for us.

'They expected England to be the leader of the group and until now they haven't played that well and the results weren't so good. But they still are at home, at the new Wembley.'

In contrast, Israel are level on points at the top of the group and their camp is full of confidence.

'We had good results and the way we played up until now was okay, we did good things,' said Tal.

'We want to do something and we believe we can do something. We are looking forward to the game.'

England have been hit by injuries to Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham but Tal remains wary of the hosts.

He added: 'Obviously I don't wish anyone to be injured, it's not nice, but maybe it will be good. Maybe not if the other players play better. They will still have 11 players.

'It will be very difficult. It doesn't matter who is playing for England, it will be a hard game for us.'

Tal admits the 90,000 fans at Wembley will make it one of the biggest games of the careers of himself and his team-mates, adding: 'It will definitely be one of them.'

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