Monday, September 7, 2009

England vs Croatia Preview, Live Score: World Cup 2010 Qualifier

If you want to get the live score and updates of the match between England and Croatia, the visit the following link:

England and Croatia Live Updates: 9 September 2009

England is going to face Croatia in a much-awaiting world cup 2010 qualifier at the Wembley Stadium on 9 September 2009. England goes into the game knowing that a win would ensure their place in next year’s world cup finals, while Croatia is very much concerned about the fact that they can not afford to lose many points in their attempt to hold on to the second place of UEFA Group 6 in what would allow them to participate in the play-off stage of the qualifying process. So, both sides have their own set of targets that they would like to achieve through the match. No doubt, football fans are expecting an enticing affair on Wednesday at the Wembley stadium.

Match: England vs Croatia; FIFA World Cup 2010 Qualification

Date: 9 September 2009 (Wednesday)

Venue: Wembely Stadium, London, England

Live on TV: Setanta Sports, Super Sports 3 TV Channels

Time: 20:00 BST (British Summer Time), 19:00 GMT

Indian Standard Time (IST): 00:30 am (10 September)

USA Time:

Washington (15:00); Los Angles (12:00); Chicago (14:00);

New York (15:00)

Just about 2 years back in November 2007, England experienced perhaps their most humiliating night in the history of football when they were defeated 3-2 by Croatia before a jam-packed crowd at the Wembley, and thus, narrowly missing out on a place in Euro 2008. That incident marked the end of Steve McClaren’s reign as England manager and caused a far-reaching effect on English side. On the other hand, that victory has become one of the sweet memories of Croatian football and has been an instance for Croatian footballers to take inspiration from.

The condition and the settings are totally different for Wednesday’s world cup qualifying game, even though the objective is same: to qualify for world cup 2010 finals in South Africa. Under new manager Fabio Capello, England has been in a seven-match winning streak in the ongoing world cup qualifying campaign, and thus, moving within a victory of clinching a world cup place. England leads the point table with perfect 21 points from 7 qualifying games, and in the process, England took a sweet revenge for their 3-2 Euro qualifying defeat by beating Croatia 4-1 on the road at the beginning of the current world cup qualifying competition. However, English fans would like to see the Three Lions winning over Croatia in front of them at the Wembely, and thus, ensuring their world cup qualification with two matches in hand.

England coach Fabio Capello is currently in a dilemma over deciding whom between Jermain Defoe and Emile Heskey to start against Croatia. He generally prefers Heskey to play alongside Wayne Rooney in the up front, but Tottenham striker Defoe has been in sparking form of recent, scoring five goals in the last three games for England. Defoe has left the thing to Capello saying that he is delighted with the way he is playing now.

New York Times reported:

Capello must now decide whether to start with his preferred partnership of Wayne Rooney and Heskey -- or with Defoe and Rooney up front for the match that will see England qualify for next year's World Cup finals in South Africa if they win.

"When Defoe plays in the second half he scores," said Capello. "I have to choose the side. I have time to decide."

Defoe said: "Everyone wants to play; no one wants to sit on the bench. But if I can come on and make an impact like I did, I'll do that. At the minute, everything I hit seems to be going in, I'm delighted."

Croatia, unlike England, has not been at their best over the last one year. They suffered two defeats in the world cup qualifying campaign and drew one in their 8 matches. From 8 games, Croatia has managed 17 points, just 3 points above third-placed Ukraine who has a game in hand. That means a defeat to England might risk Croatia’s second place, because Ukraine will face Belarus on the same day. So, Croatia will look to achieve at least a point from the England game in what would secure their second place until next game.

Croatia managed a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Belarus on Saturday, and there is no doubt, Croatian team was not impressive in front of home crowd. Croatian manager Slaven Bilic, however, seems not to be worried about England’s current form or Croatia’s recent ordinary form. Bilic claims that he knows a secret weak point of England side which his boys would like to capitalize on while facing England once again at the Wembley stadium.

Soccerway reported:

"They have some advantages but they are also missing something from their game," he said.

"They are missing some Englishness, some of the things that have always made England teams difficult to defend against and play against.

"All I will say is that they are definitely missing something and we know what it is. But of course I am not going to tell you now what it is. It is our secret."

"We did not beat them 10 times in a row but, having said that, we are the only team in the world to have done it twice," Bilic told The Guardian. "We did it one after the other and that's important."

Croatia’s problems have been intensified by the absence of two key players: Vedran Corluka, who was sent off during 1-0 victory over Belarus, and Luka Modric, who suffered an injury during his club Tottenham’s premier league victory over Birmingham City. Veteran goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa will remain sidelined due to injury.

You might say that England squad has no injury woe at this moment. Well then you should remember the fact that the current squad is missing the services of most experienced English defender Rio Ferdinand and youngster Theo Walcott- both of whom are currently recovering from their respective injury.

In the absence of Ferdinand, England defense looked exposed on a number of occasions over the last few games and the only goal they suffered in last Saturday’s friendly win over Slovenia was due to a lapse of their defense. Walcott has been in excellent form over the last one year and he scored a magnificent hat-trick in England’s 4-1 win over Croatia in last year’s world cup qualifying game. Naturally, England has lost some strength with these two players missing the game against Croatia.

Online Live Score and Updates

Here, I am giving you some names of websites from where you can get the live score and updates of the match:

Live Score


Live Football Scores

Footie Scorez

Overall, I think, England will defiantly start as favorite against Croatia, but given Croatia’s surprise performance last time they met at Wembely, I can not simple write off Croatia’s chances. England must work out their defense problems if they really want to do something special in a packed Wembely stadium. Otherwise, players like Eduardo da Silva could be a big threat for England and mar the celebration of English fans.

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