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Nigeria meet Benin in WAFU Cup semi final

Football
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By ESPN Staff

Bilic ready to shatter England's World Cup dreams

Slaven Bilic has warned England his players would prove even more formidable in tonight's World Cup qualifier than when they shattered their Euro 2008 dreams two years ago.

Bilic is confident the squad which unlocked England in 2006 has matured during the past two years.

Bilic said: 'We have high quality players. Without them, you are lost, you've got no chance. We were very brave in picking the players we did. Like in any country, especially in midfield, you can choose four defensive players or you can be more brave.

'Fortunately we have players who are good at this level, in every part of the pitch, and we are training and getting better. We are playing better and we are winning games and the confidence is going up and it just didn't happen overnight.

'It took us two years and the confidence is now sky high and we know what we have to do. We know without keeping the organisation and the system, we are lost, we are not good enough.

'But we are better players as individuals, we are better as a team because we have more training under our belts. My players are now two years older from when they faced England the first time.'

Bilic admitted a past memory of England coach Fabio Capello will ensure his side will not take lightly the World Cup qualifier.

Bilic can recall the 1994 European Cup final when Capello masterminded a shock 4-0 AC Milan victory over red hot favourites Barcelona in the final.

He said: 'The way England are approaching this game is that we are favourites and that England don't stand a chance and it reminds of the 1994 European Cup final, Barcelona v Milan.

'Barcelona had a lot of star players and Capello was in charge of Milan and two weeks before everyone was saying Barcelona were going to kill them - and it finished 4-0 for AC Milan.

'I don't know if Barcelona were approaching that game like it was a jolly-up and was too easy but we are not like that. We are full of respect for this England team.'

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