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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 18, 2008

Capello warns Inter of Reds peril

England manager Fabio Capello has warned Serie A leaders Inter Milan to expect a battle when they meet Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday.

Rafael Benitez's side have reached the final of Europe's premier competition twice in the last three years - winning in 2005 - but are struggling in the Premier League this season and crashed out of the FA Cup to Championship side Barnsley at the weekend.

Capello insists, however, that Liverpool's poor domestic form will count for little when they host Roberto Mancini's men at Anfield this week.

He said: 'Liverpool, when playing in the Champions League, transforms itself.

Speaking about the England national team Capello bemoaned a lack of goalkeeping talent at his disposal, saying it forced him to bring back goalkeeper David James.

The Portsmouth keeper, who lost his England place under Sven Goran Eriksson, returned to the lineup for Capello's first game in charge this month when England beat Switzerland 2-1 in a friendly at Wembley.

Former number one Paul Robinson is not playing for Tottenham Hotspur after a loss of form while Aston Villa's Scott Carson produced a howler when England lost 3-2 at home to Croatia in November and failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

Manchester United's Ben Foster has been talked up in the media but is injured. Capello hinted the future may lie with Manchester City's Joe Hart, the England under-21 goalkeeper.

'Only 38 percent of the players are English. The pool is reduced. I have had to reinstate a 37-year-old goalkeeper but I have spotted one in the Under-21's who is very interesting,' Capello told Italy's Radio Anch'io.

Manchester United youth player Tom Heaton and Joe Lewis of League Two (fourth division) Peterborough were the other keepers in Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce's last squad.

Capello's comments came a day after James saved a penalty in Portsmouth's 1-0 FA Cup fifth round win at Preston North End.

Despite the restricted choice of players and an overbearing media, Capello is enjoying England.

'Their culture is extraordinarily beautiful. The stadiums are always full, they give their utmost but it is always in the correct way. The referees let the game run in contrast to Italy where the play is constantly broken up,' he said.

'But certainly the media pressure is heavy, particularly on the national coach,' he joked.

Fellow Italian Giovanni Trapattoni will come up against the Azzurri in World Cup 2010 qualifying after being appointed the new Ireland coach. Capello said he would have no qualms if England played his home country.

'I would like to face Italy in South Africa, it would mean we had qualified for the World Cup,' he said.

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