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Mabbsy in SA

Posted on 16 June 2010  - 12:00

Gary Mabbutt is backing England to win their group at the World Cup.

Gary Mabbutt is backing England to win their group at the World Cup.

Our legendary former skipper is in South Africa in his role as ambassdor to the tournament and was at England's opening 1-1 draw against the USA on Saturday.

Capped 16 times by England, 'Mabbsy' believes England have the firepower to score the goals required if both teams win their remaining two matches against Algeria and Slovenia.

"I'm still very confident we'll top the group, especially as the USA are always better when they are underdogs," said Gary, third in our all-time appearance list.

"They like to sit back and nullify other teams. That's what they did when they played Brazil and Spain and did so well in the Confederations Cup last year and now against England.

"In the next two games against Slovenia and Algeria they will be favourites and they will have to turn their game around to create chances and score goals.

"I just think compared to what we've got, a lot of creativity, I think the US will find it harder in those matches.

"I was at the game against the US, met a lot of fans and, of course, they want to win three or four-nil but the game's not like that.

"I still think we have a great squad and we'll top the group."

Gary added that he wasn't surprised to see a somewhat cagey start to the tournament with Spain joining the likes of France, Italy and Portugal as failing to set the world alight in their opening matches.

"The teams to impress me so far are Argentina and Germany while South Korea played some nice, fast football," he said. "Holland have Robben to come back in and won comfortably.

"It's as you'd expect, some teams are having a bit of a slow start, but the World Cup isn't about what teams have done in the last two or three years, it's about these four weeks and who can hit form."

Gary is a World Cup ambassador and a regular studio pundit for Supersports TV in South Africa. He will be in the studio for England's next match against Algeria on Friday.