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Last Updated: Tuesday October 16 2007 14:38 GMT

England train on school pitch

England players in training

England's footballers have gone back to school to train for their Euro 2008 qualifier in Moscow, against Russia.

Players spent the day practising on a plastic pitch at a school in the north of England as it's the same as the one they'll face at the Luzhniki stadium.

Pupils at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College in Altrincham got to watch their footie heroes in action ahead of the vital match on 17 October.

If England win on Wednesday, they're through to the Euro 2008 finals.

Head teacher John Cornally says the pitch is state-of-the-art
Head teacher John Cornally says the pitch is state-of-the-art
Head teacher John Cornally said: "For our school to play a part in helping England qualify is marvellous."

Newsround spoke to some of the kids at the school.

Lucy, 11, told us: "It was amazing to know England had played on our school pitch".

Chloe, who's also 11, tipped Wayne Rooney to score and take the team to victory.

And 11-year-old Ellie said she was really proud they'd picked her school, but mostly noticed how tall Peter Crouch was!

Must not lose

Some people think playing on an artificial pitch is very different to playing on grass, but England boss Steve McClaren said: "It is a flat pitch and there is absolutely no excuse."

England are currently second in Group E and must not lose either of their last two qualifying matches if they want to make it to the finals in Austria and Switzerland.



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