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Rupert Wyman 4th Sep 2009 - 13:19

Capello's England to be Fab yet again

England face an easy looking friendly against Slovenia on Saturday, ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifier with Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday.

Nevertheless Fabio Capello is a very pragmatic coach and will be hoping for a professional performance along with the right result against Slovenia to maintain confidence within the camp ahead of the big match.

The Italian will not let the standards that he has installed drop and as a result the 1/6 about another England win should be taken up.

Capello looks set to play as much a full strength team as possible against the Slovenians so there should be no worries on you risking your money on an experimental line-up taking the field.

For those not fancying England achieving their fifth successive win at the new-found fortress that is Wembley then a shock away win is available at 14/1 with the draw a 6/1 shot.

Despite the prices Slovenia are no mugs and are themselves still in with a shout of qualifying for next summer's extravaganza in South Africa.

They sit third in Group 3, behind Slovakia and Northern Ireland, but ahead of Poland and the Czech Republic, although the latter did beat them 1-0 as did Nigel Worthington's side.

Three weeks ago England were sloppy in the Netherlands conceding two howlers against the Dutch if a repeat of that happens then Slovenia will fancy their chances but I can't see errors of the nature committed in Amsterdam happening.

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe rescued England that night by coming off the bench to net twice to seal a draw, meaning he has now scored four goals in the last two internationals, in both matches Defoe came off the bench. He has also started the season on fire for high-flying Spurs and as a result is pushing for a starting place.

He is 4/1 to open the scoring and even money to score at anytime. The best choice is probably an anytime wincast on Defoe to score at any point and an England win which is available at 23/20.

However, Fabio Capello will likely stick with his so far first-choice partnership of Wayne Rooney and Emile Heskey. Rooney has also started the season as well as he sits at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts with Defoe on four goals.

The Man Utd striker has notched 10 goals in his last 10 caps and is 4/5 to make it 11 in 11 against Slovenia.

Heskey must be starting to fear for his place in Capello's side as the hard working target man has never had a good strike rate wherever he has been but now he is struggling to get regular first team football at Aston Villa.

His attributes have always been more than just scoring but the fact he can't get into Martin O'Neill's side must be a worry, particularly given the form that Defoe is in.

England will likely set up with a four of David Beckham, Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard across the middle. Beckham's place, however, could be under threat from another in-form Spurs player - Aaron Lennon.

This week there has been a minor injury doubt over captain John Terry but he has been declared fit to play although he may not be risked ahead of the Croatia match, especially as normal central defensive partner Rio Ferdinand is injured.

Despite the concerns regarding the centre-backs new Man City recruit Joleon Lescott and West Ham's Matthew Upson should be good enough to deal with any threat that the Slovenians may pose. So much so that England should be able to keep a clean sheet in a comfortable victory. A 3-0 or 4-0 success looks the most likely at 11/2 and 8/1 respectively.

The Three Lions should be able to break the deadlock relatively early therefore the double result of England to lead at half-time and at full time could be worth a bet at 1/2 instead of the shorter 1/6 for them to win the match.

The match around the 60 minutes mark will probably become a bit disjointed with inevitable substitutions, but by that stage I would expect England to be in control of the match and cruising to the win as they look forward to the bigger challenge that lies ahead on Wednesday against Croatia.

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