Tuesday, June 8, 2010

England vs USA World Cup Football 2010: What will be the First Eleven for Fabio Capello?

England is going to start their World Cup mission next Sunday (12 June) when they take on USA in their World Cup opener at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg. The Three Lions finished their warm-up games with a 3-0 unimpressive victory over South African Premier League club Platinum Stars on Monday.

England Coach Fabio Capello now must be busy deciding his final eleven for the USA match. If the Platinum match has anything to go by, Capello seems to have already decided his first eleven he is going to deploy against USA. The Italian used 21 out of his 23 squad members against Platinum with injured duo Gareth Barry and David James being the unused players.

It is now almost certain that Gareth Barry would not be available for selection for the USA match. However, the former Aston Villa captain could return to action in the next match against Algeria.

Though Hart and Green played on Monday, David James seems to be the number one choice for Capello, but the Portsmouth veteran has to prove that he is full fit for the match. There is, however, an intense possibility Capello may give the gloves to Green ahead of Hart, if he decides to rest James.

English defense is pretty much settled with Ledley King being the replacement of injured captain Rio Ferdinand to partner with John Terrry at the heart of the defense. Ashley Cole is a certain starter on the left back.

However, the recent form of right back Glen Johnson has put his place in the first eleven under serious doubt. His sloppy performance against Mexico and Japan was utterly visible, and now his poor show against Platinum stars has raised many questions regarding his place in England’s first line up. He could also feel the pressure from Jamie Carragher who was impressive in the friendly matches on the right back.

Midfield would be led by Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard and the duo would now be looking to prove that they can play together effectively, providing flurry of chances for the forwards. Gerrard could be deployed just behind Rooney as their combination looked deadly in the recent friendly fixtures, while Lampard would look to continue his Chelsea form against USA.

Joe Cole, the only player who played the whole 90 minutes against Platinum Stars, has perhaps cemented his place on the left wing in the first eleven. He scored the second goal against Platinum, before being the source of one of England’s goals against Japan in Austria. Though Milner looked pretty much confident on Monday, Cole seems to be the first choice for Capello.

On the right flank, Aaron Lennon is almost certain to start against USA ahead of City’s Shaun Wright-Phillips. However, there are many who do not believe either of them can provide Walcott’s pace on the pitch.

In the up front, Emile Heskey is most likely to partner with Wayne Rooney. Crouch was not impressive against Platinum, and thus, losing the opportunity to start ahead of Heskey, while Defoe was good enough to justify his selection in the squad. However, Capello would most likely to go for Heskey.

Heskey could be deployed up front with Rooney just behind him. Rooney would be free to operate in the area, while Heskey could create space for the Manchester United star. Rooney showed moments of glory against Platinum Stars, and now Heskey would have to come forward to make the attack lethal.

Here is the probable England first eleven for the match against USA:

England XI (Probable)

David James (Robert Green, if James is not fit), John Terry, Ledley King, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Aaron Lennon, Wayne Rooney, Emile Heskey


  1. Come on England!

  2. the 12th is Saturday

  3. John Rushing, VermontJune 8, 2010 at 8:07 AM

    i agree with that XI. Pummel the States with Heskey's power, disorient them with J. Cole's brilliance and deflate them with Lennon's pace. Then, when they're battered, send in Crouch and Milner for another goal or two. Maybe even Defoe. Notice I didn't even need to mention Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard! Until just now. The USA should focus on their other 2 matches.

  4. i totally agree with this selection, exactly what Capello is going to put on the field. All Heskey needs to do is hold the ball up and Rooney will do the rest.

  5. I disagree as I expect Carragher in place of Johnson and Defoe in place of Heskey.