September 9th, 2008


England saying they might win .. or something

Capello happy to play away from Wembley

England coach Fabio Capello admits that he currently prefers to play away from Wembley because the players lack confidence in front of their own fans while Croatia boss Slaven Bilic admits he fears the veteran Italian coach's knowledge and experience of the biggest occasions.

Capello sensed a growing belief among his players during the 10 days they have been together which he feels is not evident when in action at the national stadium.

The former Real Madrid boss said: "I think we have worked very well for these nine, 10 days and I see the players having a lot of confidence.

"They are are getting better day by day and I am sure that tomorrow night we will be okay and we will perform.

"Of course, you have to pay big attention to the counter-attack of Croatia. I think the are also very dangerous from free-kicks and corners. This is one of their strong points.

"But we have to play without confidence and without fear and play very quickly. I understand the spirit of the group and the team and it is going up.

"We know Croatia never lose at home. Also, I think when England play at home at this moment, we don't play with a lot of confidence and I prefer to play away from England at this moment.

"But I am sure the players will play very well tomorrow."

A draw would be regarded as a positive result for England but Capello will not be settling for a point.

Capello said: "I never play for the draw. My idea is always to go to play for a win.

"I saw the Euro 2008 finals and Bilic did very impressive work with this team and they played very well.

"But I think losing on after penalties to Turkey in the summer, at this moment they are not so confident as before."

Meanwhile, Croatia coach Slaven Bilic knows the expectations are on his side to beat England after overcoming them twice in the Euro 2008 qualification group.

Bilic said: "There is more expectation and pressure on us this time. We are always under pressure. We don't want to run away from this pressure.

"We are Croatia and, of course, you are under pressure. If you want to be in the top five or so in the world rankings and compete with the best and qualify for the World Cup, you have to cope with the pressure.

"The way England are approaching this game is that we are favourites and that England don't stand a chance and it reminds me 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."






(insert your own spain pictures .. here)

Spain may make lineup changes

MADRID, Spain (AP)
- Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is expected to make changes for his team's World Cup qualifying match against Armenia on Wednesday after the European champion labored to victory in its opening game.

David Villa scored for Spain to beat a defensive Bosnia-Herzegovina team 1-0 on Saturday in its first competitive match since it won the European Championship in June.

Already missing striker Fernando Torres and winger David Silva to injury, Del Bosque is expected to reinforce his attack after Villa played alone up front against Bosnia.

"We'll fight so that Villa is not so alone and always has close to him a midfielder,
" said Del Bosque, who stretched Spain's unbeaten run to 24 games with his first competitive win since replacing Luis Aragones.

Striker Bojan Krkic, who just turned 18 and is rated as one of the stars of the future, could make his international debut against the 98th-ranked Armenia at Albacete's La Feria stadium. Del Bosque could also start midfielder Santi Cazorla or striker Dani Guiza after both made an impact as Spain ended its 44-year drought without a major trophy at Euro 2008.

"Having won the European Championship means that your rivals always want to beat you," midfielder Andres Iniesta said in Tuesday's Marca newspaper. "It's important we take these first games very seriously, so that we don't miss out on any points."

Spain, which has been ranked as the No. 1 team in the world by FIFA, will need an impressive victory against the Armenians to confirm its stature as one of the favorites to win its first World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

Del Bosque expects his team to play with patience and wait for the opportunities to arrive.

"What is important is that we have the same attitude as against Bosnia, where we went out with intensity, focus and humility. I've already said that our main rivals are ourselves," the 57-year-old coach said.

Spain will be looking to improve its head-to-head record to 5-0 against Armenia, which opened its qualifying campaign with a 2-0 loss at home to Turkey.

Belgium and Estonia are also in Group 5.

i know someone has a better quality of this ..
but i suck at finding pictures =(

for those of you with fsc

World Cup Qualifiers on Fox Soccer Channel
Day Date Home Visitor Kickoff (ET)
Wed. Sep. 10 North Korea South Korea 8:00 a.m.
Wed. Sep. 10 Russia Wales 11:00 a.m.
Wed. Sep. 10 Macedonia Holland 2:30 p.m.
Wed. Sep. 10 Slovenia Slovakia 5:00 p.m.*
Wed. Sep. 10 Uzbekistan Australia 8:00 p.m.*
Sat. Oct. 11 Estonia Spain 2:45 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 11 England Kazakhstan 12:15 p.m.
Wed. Oct. 15 Australia Qatar 5:00 p.m.
Wed. Oct. 15 South Korea UAE 7:00 p.m.*
Wed. Oct. 15 Norway Holland 1:00 p.m.
Wed. Oct. 15 Czech Republic Slovenia TBA
Wed. Nov. 19 Qatar Japan 11:30 a.m.*
Wed. Nov. 19 Bahrain Australia 10:00 a.m.
Wed. Nov. 19 Saudi Arabia South Korea 11:35 a.m.*
* Delayed Broadcast. All other games LIVE. (Games & times subject to change).

a. fsc FAILS & i don't even want to bother with espn  .. why doesn't espn show the matches?! WHY?
b. ngl, i'm excited to see south korea.

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