Euro 2012 Qualifying Preview: England vs. Bulgaria
It is time to have a smile on your face, and a pint in your hand, not to drown your sorrows but to celebrate England winning...hopefully.
It's the start of the Euro 2012 qualifying for England and their lightweight side, at home to Bulgaria.
Yes, England were a disappointment at this year's World Cup, but...at least your not French or Italian.
Euro 2012 looks like the turning point for the Three Lions. In their last game, a friendly against Hungry, Capello named a side with just 10 of the World cup players in, prompting signs of an ushering in of a new generation.
In fairness to Capello, the only way that the nation will be happy with the team is if they win every game 6-0, and that's not going to happen.
However, Capello needs to do whats best for the country, and not to play games with the players. Leaving out Joe Cole and not taking Theo Walcott this summer, was not because it was better for the team's chances, but was to show that Capello was boss.
One of the most infuriating feelings that many England fans have is that players always seem to perform far better for their club side, than they do for their country.
The fault does not lie with the players, but with the manager.
He positions players in areas they don't usually play in, which disrupts the balance of the team.
Recently Gerrard has been put on the left flank, but his natural reaction is to wander around the centre of the pitch and then go out to the flank. It then makes the central midfields cluster and leaves a space on the wing.
Peter Crouch, has been ruled out after suffering a rib injury when playing for Spurs against Wigan at the weekend.
Engalnd's goalkeeping problem isn't getting any better. Scott Carson and Ben Foster have both been struggled in training, so Joe Hart is expected to start in goal.
Phil Jagielka missed training on Wednesday so, again, he is not expected to be in the starting lineup.
Probable starting XI: Hart; Cole, Upson, Dawson, Johnson; Walcott, Barry, Gerrard, Milner; Rooney, Defoe
With Dimitar Berbatov retiring, Aston Villa’s Stiliyan Petrov will be wearing the armband. Valeri Bojinov, (former Man. City player) will be upfront with fairly inexperienced striker partnering him.
Other than that, the Bulgarians have a full strength squad.
Probable starting XI: Mihaylov; Manolev, Ivanov, Stotanov, Minev; Peev, Angelov, S Petrov, M Petrov; Bojinov, Kamburov
(random comment—have you noticed they all end with 'V' ?)
England win - 2/7
Bulgaria win - 10/1
Draw - 4/1
My prediction—England win 2-0.
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