June 23, 2010

England vs Slovenia preview

Rumours suggest that Capello will be abandoning his 4-4-2 in order to give Gerrard a free(r) role in a 4-3-2-1. The suggested personnel changes are Defoe, Upson and Milner for Heskey, Carragher and Lennon.

Slovenia play an old fashioned 4-4-2, with two banks of four and two full-backs that don’t add much to the attack. They are an organised side who are notoriously difficult to break down and, therefore, it’s easy to see why Capello may tinker with his (rather rigid) formation for this match; it’s vital that we get the man advantage in central midfield and all the better if that spare man turns out to be Gerrard.

We already knew about Upson for Carragher, and it seemed obvious that Capello would drop Heskey, but I quite like the idea of Milner for Lennon in order to get a harder working midfield, and another player that can keep possession.

James
Johnson Upson Terry Cole
Milner Barry Lampard
Gerrard
Defoe Rooney

This formation should also allow our full-backs to get forward more frequently, safe in the knowledge that Milner and especially Barry are there for protection. Lennon disappointed against Algeria, and seems low in confidence, but he could play a key role as an impact sub, especially if we still need a goal late in the game.

It’s so obvious to say, but Rooney and Gerrard are our key men. Hopefully with no Heskey to play off, Rooney will have more responsibility, which could inspire him to find the form that he has shown for United this year. Gerrard, in a position more akin to his usual Liverpool role, should be able to find some freedom, safe in the knowledge that there are three behind him who can do most of the dirty work.

Gerrard is certainly talking a good game
:

“We know we let the country down by underperforming. We can’t wait for the game to start and put that right. I can see the hunger in the guys. It’s a do or die situation. We have to improve and we’re ready to do the business.”

Let’s hope they can put that into practice. Come on England!

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Such a smart ball through from Trippier but Kane had looooads to do there and he did it *perfectly*. What a start! #COYS
8 hours ago