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WhoScored: Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Tactics And Analysis 11 hours ago
Read
Sep 8, 2008

Capello looks forward to a more open match

England coach Fabio Capello is looking forward to Wednesday night's qualifier in Croatia - because he will meet a team which actually plays football. The Italian was frustrated on Saturday night after playing an Andorran team which spent most of the game will every player behind the ball, attempting to stifle the game and prevent England from forcing their way through on goal.

A 2-0 victory wasn't exactly impressive, nor was the manner of the performance, but Capello insists it will be a different story against a team which will be willing to go on the attack.

The coach believes the Croatian style will enable his team to put into practice much of the work he has done on the training ground over the past week. And Capello knows that avoiding defeat in Zagreb will place England in pole position for World Cup 2010.

Some pundits had predicted England would become 'the Andorra' of this fixture, but Capello is adamant that there will be no rearguard action from his side.

Capello said: 'It was not easy to find the space against Andorra because they had nine players always near their penalty box. It was impossible to find the space and they were just running down the clock.

'Wednesday will be a difficult game but more exciting. I prefer the difficult games. Saturday against Andorra was a very dangerous game but I like the bigger challenges.

'Croatia are playing at home and they have to play forward. They have to try and score goals. They will be strong and the level of the quality of the players will be better and more dangerous.

'I followed Croatia a lot in the European Championships. They are a good team and, when they play at home, the fans help the players a lot. Their fans are very strong in terms of emotion and passion.

'But we are good enough to get a result and I have confidence in my team.'

Capello also insisted Wayne Rooney is not becoming frustrated at his inability to hit peak form for England.

He said: 'The game against Andorra was not the perfect game for Rooney. He did one fantastic pass for the second goal and also one other in the first half for Theo Walcott.

'But he needs space. Rooney needs space to work. I hope in the next game, he will find the space against a team who will not have nine players behind the ball for most of the game.'

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