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'Crouchy' relishing international derby

Posted on 24 March 2011  - 12:00

Peter Crouch is expecting Wales to raise their game for what he describes as international football’s answer to a derby clash on Saturday.

'Crouchy' relishing international derby

Peter Crouch is expecting Wales to raise their game for what he describes as international football’s answer to a derby clash on Saturday.

The big striker hopes to be in England’s starting line-up for the Euro 2012 qualifier with Gary Speed’s men in Cardiff.

And although Wales are without a point from their first three games in Group G and sit 111 places below the Three Lions in the FIFA World Rankings, ‘Crouchy’ expects a tough encounter in front of a passionate home crowd.

But it’s also an occasion he expects his England team-mates to rise to, saying: “I don't think we will be looking at the stats. We know a lot of their players and they will be able to raise their game.

"They've lost the previous three games but make no mistake, this won't be like any of the previous three games.

"It will be a derby and a lot of times the underdog can come through and win and we've got to make sure that doesn't happen.

"It's a massive game for Wales in front of their own fans but it is for us as well. We've had one eye on this tie as soon as the draw was made. We can't wait to sample that atmosphere."

Despite an excellent international goalscoring record of 22 in 42 appearances, ‘Crouchy’ knows he is not guaranteed a place in Fabio Capello’s starting XI on Saturday, with fierce competition coming from Darren Bent, Andy Carroll, Wayne Rooney and Spurs team-mate Jermain Defoe.

But that does not dampen his enthusiasm for the world stage, adding: "I'll always enjoy playing for England. When the call-up comes, I'm always very proud and even if I get five minutes, I'll be happy with that.

"I've always been proud of my goal record for England and, when given the opportunity, I don't think I've let anyone down. Hopefully I get more opportunities in the future."