Capello looking forward to Wales test

Fabio Capello did not get the ultimate Battle of Britain clash - but after declaring "bring it on" beforehand, he will now discover what a big scalp England are after his side were pitted against Wales in the qualifiers for Euro 2012.

As proceedings unfolded in Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science, England were still to be drawn with only three positions left to fill.

A tantalising meeting with the Scots was still on the cards, only for legendary Poland international Zbigniew Boniek to confirm an English trip to Cardiff as part of the route to the finals which Poland will co-host with the Ukraine.

Capello knows all about Wales' current crop of exciting youngsters already, having shared a flight with John Toshack on the way to the draw yesterday.

"Wales will be my first derby," said the Italian.

"It will be good because they are a very young team.

"I spoke with John Toshack on the flight over. He told me the average age is 22 and he had some really good young players.

"It will be interesting - for me and England."

It is less than five years since the last meeting between the two countries, when Joe Cole's solitary goal proved enough to clinch an England victory at the Millennium Stadium.

A side coached by Sven Goran Eriksson had already beaten Wales at Old Trafford and given the respective status of both nations, it would be a major shock if England did not complete another double.

In fact, while Capello claimed Group A - headed by Germany and including Turkey - and Group G - where England ended up - were the toughest, it is difficult to agree with the Italian.

Wales are beatable, despite the talents of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Collison, while Montenegro - a country England have never faced as an independent nation - won only once in the recent World Cup qualifiers and finished bottom, even if six draws from 10 games indicates an obdurate nature, especially in Podgorica, where only Italy beat them.

Dimitar Berbatov's Bulgaria will present a bigger challenge, especially if Martin and Stiliyan Petrov are both fit but, in the same group as Montenegro, they never looked like reaching South Africa.

And, in a group of just five teams which, in addition to one of the home nations was Capello's major hope, Switzerland do not appear to pose that much of a threat, even though they will be joining England at the World Cup.

Indeed, the Swiss were Capello's first opponents after he had replaced Steve McClaren as coach.

That match, at Wembley in February 2008, ended in a narrow victory, with Jermaine Jenas and Shaun Wright-Phillips scoring the goals for a team that included David Bentley.

Much has changed for the Three Lions since then, as Capello is the first to admit.

"I remember that first game very well," he said.

"What I remember most was that the training session the day before was very good. When I came away from it I was really happy.

"But after the match I had a completely different feeling.

"The players I watched in the match were not the same as the ones I had seen in training the day before.

"But we have improved a lot compared to what we were like when I started as manager.

"Now when we play against Switzerland it will not be the same game."

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself with remarkable success
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower