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Tuesday, 20 November 2007

England v Croatia

This is the big one then, the last chance for England to qualify for Euro 2008. Croatia are certain of a place, but the pressure is now on Russia who need England to fail in order to qualify, assuming they can overcome Andorra.
A minimum of a point is required for tomorrow's game at Wembley, and this time Steve McClaren is not giving any clues as to who will be in the starting eleven.
I am fairly certain that Beckham will play at least a hour, with the possibility of Wright-Phillips replacing him in the latter stages if things are comfortable or if Beckham is tiring. I would hope to see Gerrard and Barry start the game with Lampard kept in reserve in case of early injury. It looks like big Peter Crouch in the lone-role up front which should give the Croatia defenders something to think about, complemented with the pace and skills of Joe Cole and the whipped crosses from Beckham. McClaren will be hoping that this is enough to keep the lid on a Croatia team that have the potential to burst the England bubble...
At the back will be an admittedly make-shift combination built around Micah Richards, Sol Campbell and maybe Wes Brown.
The good news is that Croatia are not under pressure to win, the bad news is that Croatia are not under pressure to win!
C'mon Andorra!!!

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