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TALKING ENGLAND

Posted on 20 June 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

David Pleat casts a tactical eye over the match we've all been waiting for - Friday's mouth-watering clash between England and Brazil in Shizouka...

BRAZIL DON'T APPEAR to have any injuries and will be in good heart. I can only imagine the manager Luiz Felipe Scolari contemplating one change, if any.

When they go forward they are very attack minded but, with their ability to run with the ball, they can overplay their hand.

Juninho makes searching runs with the ball but, if the pass isn't delivered early, a counter attack can develop and they do leave space in behind.

England will be as competitive as ever, the Butt-Scholes axis will be snapping away at not only Juninho and the holding midfielder Gilberto Silva. They will also have to not lose touch with the two loose forwards Rivaldo and Ronaldinho.

Cafu and Roberto Carlos play so far forward as wing-backs - it will be new a new experience for Danny Mills and Ashley Cole to deal with. They must not get pinned back and I'm sure they will devise a way to counter the threat.

Cafu loves getting into advanced positions and plays like a winger in possession, but sometimes does not relish tracking back as much. On the other side, Carlos is a dream, but he also can get caught upfield and can be vulnerable defending against good right-sided attacks.

Obviously, during the tournament, there has been some criticism of the three centre backs - Lucio, Edmilson and Roque Junior, for their determination to play their way out of trouble. This can be a weakness, as they all tend to be addicted to keeping the ball on the island - even when the big hoof is required.

Everyone hopes England will start bouncy and take the game in their stride. So many of the World Cup games so far have produced surprising results due to unpredictable circumstances. A penalty given or a player dismissed can sway the balance to the underdogs.

I am sure it is not possible for Brazil to shut up shop and England themselves will not look to hold the fort as they need to have an equal share of the game.

At present Korea is gripped with the facination of the red shirted fans dancing in the streets. It needs another country to divert the attention slightly and there could be no better occasion than Friday for England to storm into the semi-final.

But, no-one under-estimates the task and it would be a magnificent achievement if we can do it.


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