Capello promises best ever performance

Fabio Capello has promised England will produce their best home performance of his time in charge tomorrow.

The Three Lions may be stepping into the unknown as they tackle a Kazakhstan side whose new-look squad contains only four players the Italian has ever seen on video before.

But, for Capello, it is a chance to show last month's stunning World Cup qualifying win over Croatia was no fluke.

And he is confident his players will be ready to meet the challenge.

"There is a big expectation on us but that is normal for an England team," he said.

"We have to play with confidence and I am sure we will. It will be better than when we have played at Wembley before."

Capello feels his team are more compact than they have previously been, which could have something to do with a new formation he appears ready to use, with Steven Gerrard returning for the injured Joe Cole in a midfield that also includes Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry.

"Steven Gerrard is a very important player for Liverpool and us," said Capello.

"He is a fantastic player. He scores goals and makes assists. I am very happy he is back."

Central defence is slightly more complicated to the outside world at least.

Capello bowed to the inevitable by publicly ruling out John Terry, who has not trained all week.

The England coach was willing to confirm the obvious; that Rio Ferdinand will captain the side in a competitive game for the first time. However, there was no indication of Terry's replacement even though Capello has privately decided which of Matthew Upson, Wes Brown and Joleon Lescott it will be.

"I know exactly who will play tomorrow," he teased.

"When I first decided the squad I had to think it was possible someone like John Terry or Rio Ferdinand might get injured, which, as always, is why we ended up with four centre-backs."

Capello has no intention of disrupting the forward line that performed so clinically against Croatia.

Wayne Rooney confirmed earlier this week how much he enjoys playing with Emile Heskey, while boy-wonder Theo Walcott will make his first England appearance at Wembley.

After his hat-trick last month, the home supporters are preparing to raise the roof in honour of the Arsenal youngster.

However, Capello has warned not to expect too much of the 19-year-old.

"We have to wait with him and be patient," said Capello.

"We have to help him because it is simply not possible to play every game like the last one.

"But the fact he did so well is good. It is very interesting for the games we have now and also the future of the England team."

While no-one expected Capello to make changes up front, his decision to omit Michael Owen has caused plenty of controversy.

Former England coach Glenn Hoddle is the latest to declare discarding Owen "a mistake".

Instead, Capello has put his faith in Jermain Defoe, who has scored seven times for Portsmouth this season, and Peter Crouch as back-up forwards.

Capello is adamant he has not abandoned Owen, using Crouch as an example of his willingness to recall key men.

"I have seen a lot of games and decided on Crouch and Defoe," observed Capello.

"Don't forget, Defoe is the best scorer in England right now.

"But Crouch was not in the last two squads and neither was Shaun Wright-Phillips.

"It shows the door is open always. Michael Owen is a good player and it is possible he will be back the next time."

Capello is still optimistic Terry will come through a training session on either Sunday or Monday to put himself in contention for Wednesday's trip to Belarus.

By then, he hopes England will have nine points from nine in their bid to reach South Africa in two years' time.

Tomorrow's game should be a formality, although, as Capello accepts, Kazakhstan have not exactly made it easy for him to assess their ability.

"I only know four players," he said.

"They have moved a lot of players from the Under-21s and I have one video about these players.

"It is a new manager and a new squad. But surely it is impossible to change their style completely."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
John Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil