England World Cup Qualifying Preview 2010

By: Martin Davies

Although England will be favourites to qualify from group 6 of the European qualification section of the World Cup 2010 there is one team that continues to haunt Fabio Capellos team. Croatia have also been drawn into this group and although having an encouraging Euro 2008, coach Sliven Baltic will know England seeks revenge.

The Croats knocked out England in Euro 2008 qualification. This of course resulted in then manager Steve McClaren getting the sack and the start of a new era for English football under revered Italian coach, Fabio Capello.

How will this strict disciplinarian get the best out of a group of talented but under achieving players? Many fans think the English players are spoilt and get paid too much, earning many times more than players from other parts of Europe. Other experts prefer the theory that the English players suffer from lack of technical skill to compete at the highest level and that schools and youth teams fail to teach young footballers the value of technical skill over effort and powerful physique.

If you want to watch Englands away matches for the 2010 campaign then you have to subscribe to Setanta Sports as they have secured the rights to all of Englands home friendlies and the away World Cup 2010 qualifying matches.

After England and Croatia the outsiders are Ukraine and Belarus. With a young team of highly motivated players Ukraine may spring a surprise or two and although they finished a disappointing fourth in qualification for Euro 2008 they are certain dark horses of the group. They have the powerful Dynamo Kiev striker Artem Milevskiy who will be expected to score many goals in group 6.

Belarus have always produced players of great skill in their recent history of top flight International football, such players include the dynamic Arsenal midfielder, Alexander Hleb who has been attracting the attention of Barcelona this Summer. The Belarus support will have plenty to look forward to after their recent 2-1 win over the Dutch in their final Euro 2008 qualifier.

Group 6 also has some interesting players to look out for when you are watching the games on tv. For England, star striker Wayne Rooney and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will be the players to watch. Croatia have Arsenal goal scorer Eduardo de Silver (recovering from serious injury) and Luka Modic, both of these players have played an important part in Croatia recent success.

Kazakhstan and Andorra are expected just to make up the numbers in group 6. Both teams will struggle to compete against the other nations because of the lack of real quality in terms of players and domestic leagues which are highly uncompetitive.

England will be expected to qualify from this tricky group. If they should fail then the manager will more than likely lose his job and another rebuilding plan will have to take place. Many football experts and sports fans are hoping that this golden generation of England players will finally deliver some success on the pitch.

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