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Nov 12, 2009

Lucas: England can win World Cup

Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva believes England have a golden chance to win the 2010 World Cup because "now they play as a team.''

• Defoe out to prove himself to Capello
• Lampard ruled out for England
• Brown sees Brazil as perfect warm-up

The Liverpool player has immense respect for the way England have developed into a potent force under Fabio Capello. And he feels the meeting between the two sides in Doha on Saturday will be an ideal yardstick of how they are progressing ahead of the finals in South Africa.

"I think England are a top-level side," Lucas said. "We have a lot of respect for them. We know all the players very well. They are playing for the big teams in maybe the best league in the world. It will be a good game for both sides to see the level they are at because we are so close to the World Cup now.

"Is this England's best chance of winning the World Cup? I think so. Of course, England have always had a good squad but I think the last results have really shown the quality.

"Now they play as a team. They have great players like Frank Lampard and my Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard who are always dangerous.

"We hope we can beat England but know it will be a really hard game. They have been very impressive in qualifying for the World Cup.''

Lucas believes current Brazil coach Dunga - their former midfield player - has made a big impact in trying to combine flair with the importance of being solid.

"Brazil have a lot of quality and skilful players but are also trying to defend well," Lucas said. "That is the key for any team and we will try to do that against England "Dunga has improved us a lot. He has tried to help all the players. He has improved everything.

"With Brazil, people expect you to play with skill and flair all the time but with Dunga we are looking to play as a team with everyone helping each other.''

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