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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
CAN YOU SEE ENGLAND MAKING IT NINE FROM NINE?

I don't know yet, it depends what my broadband connection is like. I just hope that the England players are more enthusiastic about 'The Match That No-One Will Watch' than the England supporters. Fabio Capello's side have, of course, already sealed their place in next summer's World Cup, but he'll still want to go there with an impeccable qualifying campaign behind them. That won't happen if the England players take their foot off the gas here. The Ukraine's best years may be behind them, but they are still a dangerous side and they're fighting for that last play-off place. With lowly Andorra lined up for their final fixture, they know that a victory over England will almost certainly see them leapfrog Croatia into second place, so they'll be motivated and hungry.

Back in April, England were fortunate to take all three points from them at Wembley. Peter Crouch opened the scoring with an acrobatic effort from close range, but Capello was saved by a late John Terry winner after Andrei Shevchenko, of all people, had seemed to have secured a draw. This is a team more than capable of beating England. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk is still a force to be reckoned with in the centre and he'll be enthusiastic to punish any slackness. This will not be a walk in the park, but Capello will know that already and, as a result, he's unlikely to do anything silly with his team selection.

NO SURPRISES IN THE LINE-UP THEN?

Rio Ferdinand should play, despite a string of niggling injuries over the past year, but keep an eye out for Gary Cahill just in case. The big Bolton centre-back is a favourite of assistant manager Franco Baldini and he's been banging on the door of the first team for the last year. With Jonathan Woodgate constantly injured, Phil Jagielka up on bricks and with unconvincing displays from Joleon Lesott and Matthew Upson, perhaps it's time to take a chance on one of the most under-rated players in the Premier League. Aside from that it should be much the same as usual with Robert Green keeping his place in goal, the usual suspects at the back, a two man midfield of Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry, with Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Aaron Lennon causing havoc behind the reassuring presence of big Emile Heskey.

IF THE UKRAINE FALL THIS WEEKEND AND NO-ONE IS ONLINE TO SEE THEM, WILL THEY MAKE A SOUND?

Woah, that's pretty deep for this time of the day. It's a good question though. There's something of a football vacuum in the UK this weekend. I've made exhaustive enquiries, but so far I've been unable to find a single person who has paid the one-off charge to watch the game online. A number of media and betting websites have entered into affiliate schemes with Kentaro that will bring the game to their subscribers, but that may not matter too much as the internet messageboards are already swimming with links to illegal streaming sites. However, the vast majority of England fans that I've spoken to are simply refusing to bother at all. Internet football might be ok as a last resort for a crucial game, but the idea of paying money to watch a pointless match on a laptop has alienated people so much that now they won't even tune in for free.
 

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
No it isn't.

Yes it is. It's the Ukraine. They got to the World Cup quarter-finals, they'll probably qualify for the next World Cup, they've got lots of very good footballers and an awful lot to play for.

I love you Rusty, but you must stop thinking that England are head and shoulders above everyone else on the planet!
 

EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,477
Tymoschuk(sp?) Is a fantastic footballer and Voronin isn't that bad of a forward despite his Liverpool related tantrums.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
6,800
Location
Oregon
We've already played poorly against these Slavic jokers and beaten them. A performance in the same postcode as either of the Croatian games will result in an ***-stomping.
 
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