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Page last updated at 20:26 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Capello wary of Spain's midfield

Venue: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Seville Date: Wed, 11 February
Kick-off: 2100 GMT Coverage: Text commentary on the BBC Sport website and live on BBC Radio Five Live. Live on ITV1

Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello will take on Spain in his eleventh match in charge of England

England coach Fabio Capello has warned his England side that they must adapt to the challenge posed by Spain.

Capello says a new approach is needed if his side are to repeat the success of their 2-1 win over Germany.

"The players are different technically, physically and mentally to Germany's. They play with one forward but with a lot of very good players in midfield.

"For me it will be a very important test because it is not easy for any team to play against Spain."

The Italian boss urged his players to show caution against the Euro 2008 winners during the friendly.

He added: "They play with one forward and a lot of players in midfield and they are very good technically. For this reason you have to choose your positions on the field very carefully and press their players a lot.


"We did well against Germany. Now we have to recover that spirit and it will be important to know the value of our team against a different style of play."

David Beckham's revitalised form on loan at AC Milan has won him inclusion in Capello's squad and put him on the brink of a 108th cap that would equal Bobby Moore's outfield appearance landmark.

"I choose players in the best form. When I picked a squad last February, Beckham was not in it because he was not playing," Capello said.

"Now he is here, but that is solely because he is a good player. He is not here for sympathy. I would never pick a player for those reasons."

As AC Milan and LA Galaxy negotiate over the 33-year-old's future, Capello was guarded over how the outcome might affect his chances of claiming sole ownership of the record.

Now we have to recover that spirit and it will be important to know the value of our team against a different style of play

Fabio Capello on the match against Spain

"I don't like talking about ifs. It is important for the squad he is here at the moment. He is playing well with AC Milan and perhaps he will play tomorrow. But I don't know what will happen in the future," he said.

Captain John Terry scored the winner against Germany in Berlin in November but agreed that he will be in for a tougher evening against Vicente del Bosque's side.

"I think so. I think we're moving in the right direction with our recent performances and our recent results. We're playing very well, but this is a big test against one of the best sides in the world," he said.

The Chelsea star said that the international break had helped take his mind off the upheaval at his club where the search for a new manager is underway after Luis Felipe Scolari was sacked on Monday.

Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand is back after missing England's 2-1 win away in Germany

"What is happening back home is at the back of your mind but we come here focused on the England game ahead," he said.

"If anything, it is a bit of a relief to get away for a couple of days because my main concern should now be England. I want to put in a good performance personally and hopefully the squad can do the same."

Rio Ferdinand is hoping to be reunite with Terry in the centre of defence after missing the latest in England's current run of five successive victories and agrees the team will face a tough task to maintain their winning ways.

"You only have to look at the names on their team sheet and it is full of quality. They have some of the best players in Europe, if not the world" Ferdinand said.

Despite Spain's success in the European Championships, a tournament England failed to qualify for, the Manchester United defender says his team-mates are confident they can return with a positive result.

James Millner
Milner could win his first England cap against Spain

"We don't fear anyone. If we play to the best of our abilities we can beat anyone on the planet," he added.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa's James Milner, fresh from scoring in a 2-0 win over Blackburn at the weekend, believes the club's rise to third place in the Premier League has helped him earn his first call-up to a full international squad.

"It's a great club to be playing for at the moment. I'm enjoying my football and lucky enough to be playing with good players, working with good staff - and the manager fills you with a lot of confidence.

"You can see from the run we've been on this season, when you're enjoying your football you'll play your best football - and we've been doing that."

England's last victory over Spain came in Sven Goran Eriksson's first match in charge in 2001 when goals from Heskey, Nick Barmby and Ugo Ehiogu propelled them to an emphatic 3-0 win.

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see also
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Heskey to boost England's options
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Gerrard faces three-week lay-off
05 Feb 09 |  Liverpool
Injured Defoe to undergo surgery
02 Feb 09 |  Tottenham
Germany 1-2 England
19 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Henry backs England Madrid return
17 Oct 08 |  Internationals
England to face Spain in Seville
23 Dec 08 |  Internationals
England veto Madrid for Spain tie
14 Oct 08 |  Internationals

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