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Fit players key to 2010 - Capello

Fabio Capello
Capello can take a squad of 23 players to South Africa

England coach Fabio Capello says the players' fitness levels will be key when he selects the 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup.

Capello has a list of up to 37 players he is looking at as he weighs up who will make the trip to South Africa.

"When I select a squad I select players to play every game. He has to be able to play, not wait 10 days to play another game," said the Italian.

That may spell bad news for the injury-prone Michael Owen and Ledley King.

Manchester United striker Owen is currently out with a groin injury, while Spurs defender King's knee problems mean he struggles to train and cannot play two games in a row.

Last week, Capello travelled to Old Trafford to watch Owen play against Wolfsburg only for the striker, who has started just once for the Italian in a friendly, to go off after 20 minutes with a recurring groin injury.

we must not be arrogant. If you play with arrogance it's impossible to win

Fabio Capello

"I arrived at the last moment in Manchester to see him," said Capello.

"The knee of Ledley King is another problem, for Tottenham, for (Spurs manager) Harry Redknapp, for me. If he's fit it's better for me because he is one of the best defenders."

Capello will announce his squad on Sunday for the World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine on 10 October and Belarus four days later.

The former AC Milan, Roma, Juventus and Real Madrid coach intends to start with his strongest possible 11 players against Ukraine, despite having already secured qualification.

But he offered hope to fringe players like Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor and Sunderland forward Darren Bent.

"It's possible that some new players will play in one of the next two games," said Capello. "I'm not sure if it will be the first or the second.


"I will play with the best players 100% in the first half as always. The second half it's possible I will make some subs.

"They are not friendly games, they are not experimental games. We have to continue what we have done in qualification," Capello added in reference to England's 100% record in Group Six.

"Agbonlahor is young and sometimes you have to wait for young players to get a bit more confidence. But he is in a good moment. Darren is also scoring a lot of goals.

"Carrick was with us when we played Croatia. He is playing very well and will probably start one of the two games."

Capello also warned his players that they must guard against arrogance.

"England are one of the best teams in the world and we have to play every game to win but also with respect for the opponents.

"We must play against every team without fear but we must not be arrogant. If you play with arrogance it's impossible to win."

And the Italian plans to eradicate the errors that cost his side goals against Holland and Slovenia in recent friendlies.

"The silly mistakes we made were always in friendly games, not during World Cup qualification," he said.

"I always show them DVDs and usually speak with the defenders and the group. Everyone has to understand what happened and what we need to do in order not to make more mistakes."

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see also
Beckham confirms Milan deal close
14 Oct 09 |  Europe
England 5-1 Croatia
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Capello awards King shock call-up
22 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Capello hits back in King dispute
27 Mar 09 |  Tottenham
Capello opts against Owen recall
08 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Capello targets World Cup final
13 Sep 09 |  Internationals
England's road to World Cup 2010
09 Sep 09 |  Football
How Capello has lifted England
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Capello hails 'best' England win
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Who has qualified for South Africa 2010?
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals

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