World Cup 2010 - Capello to experiment

Sun, 23 May 18:11:00 2010

Fabio Capello will rest key players and experiment with England's more marginal World Cup hopefuls in Monday's friendly against fellow finalists Mexico at Wembley.

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The Italian, whose squad have been at an altitude training camp in Austria, said his four Chelsea players and Portsmouth goalkeeper David James would definitely not play in England's last home game before the World Cup in South Africa.

"The Chelsea players and David James will not play against Mexico," confirmed Capello.

"I needed them to train and stay with us. I also needed to check their physical situation so these five players won't play."

Chelsea played Portsmouth in the FA Cup final at Wembley last weekend.

With John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley and Joe Cole ruled out, and Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry recovering from an ankle injury, the way is open for the likes of Adam Johnson, Michael Dawson, Ledley King and Jamie Carragher to remind the manager of their talents.

"Some players will be important for me to know their attitude on the pitch," said Capello. "I will experiment against Mexico."

That could mean Wayne Rooney being used as a lone striker or a switch to a 3-5-2 system.

Barry is set to undergo fitness tests on Tuesday which will determine his fate.

Capello said he more or less knew the 23 players he will take to South Africa but there was still room for late changes.

"In my mind I more or less know the names of the 23 players who will be with me in South Africa," he said.

"But we have to wait because you never know whether someone gets injured."

One of those could be striker Darren Bent, who missed out four years ago in Germany.

"It would top off a fantastic season for me to go to the World Cup and play in probably the best sporting event in the world," Bent said.

"It was disappointing and hurt like hell (in 2006), but I'm a stronger person and if I was to miss out, I will know how to deal with it.

"I am a firm believer that I can go there and do it on that stage. If I could, it would be the greatest achievement of my life."

Italian Capello said he had no concerns about the state of the playing surface at Wembley - but his captain Rio Ferdinand has joined fellow centre-half John Terry in questioning the use of the stadium for other events.

"It is a football stadium. That is what it was built as," he said. "If there are things going on there that make it a bad pitch to play on and hinders the spectacle of a football match, a decision needs to be made in that sense.

"Having said that, there are stadiums all around the world that are used for different things and they seem to get it right, so we need to look at it."

Ferdinand added that he is confident of being fully fit for the first game of the finals.

"All being well I'll be in tip-top condition come the first game. I'm training hard and have three weeks to get into the World Cup groove," he said.

"How can I not be refreshed? I'm used to playing 40, 50 games a season. I have not played anywhere near that amount this year, so I will be going out to the tournament in good condition."

England also have a friendly against Japan in Graz, Austria on May 30 before the final 23-man squad is selected.

Follow all the build-up to tonight's friendly on - and full match commentary from 20:00 UK time!


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