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Finland defender Sami Hyypia
"It's quite easy to prepare for this game"
 real 56k

Finland midfielder Jarko Wiss
"It's one of the biggest games of the season."
 real 14k

banner Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 16:31 GMT
Hyypia fears Beckham threat
Sami Hyypia
Hyypia: Thrilled to be playing for Finland at Anfield
Finland defender Sami Hyypia says his team-mates must be at the best to repel England dangerman David Beckham at Anfield.

Hyypia will be at the heart of Finland's defence for the World Cup qualifier at the home of his club side Liverpool.

And Beckham is the player he is most worried about, despite the Manchester United midfielder's recent drop in form.

"David Beckham is the kind of player who has so much quality and skill he is always dangerous," said Hyypia.


This is a great occasion for me as I don't think I will ever be able to play for Finland again at Anfield
  Sami Hyypia

"Even if he is not at his best, he can still pass and cross well enough to win the game for them.

"I don't know if we have a plan to combat him at the moment, the coach has not spoken to us about it."

Hyppia said that being underdogs suited the Finns.

"It has been easy to prepare for the game because there is no pressure on us," he said. "Nobody expects us to get a result."

While Hyypia thinks that Beckham is vital to England's chances, he says that Liverpool team-mate Jari Litmanen is the main man for Finland.

"Hopefully we will not have to defend all the time and then we can play forward and make Jari's skills pay off," he said.

David Beckham
Beckham: Recent dip in form
Hyypia is looking forward to playing alongside Litmanen at Anfield, but he does not think it will be an advantage to play on familiar territory.

"This is a great occasion for me as I don't think I will ever be able to play for Finland again at Anfield," he said.

"But fans will come to this game from all over England, not just Liverpool, so I don't think it will help me."

Hyypia's father Jouko, who was a central defender with Finnish team Pallo Peikot, will be at Anfield on Saturday, but his mother Irma, a former amateur keeper, will stay at home.

"Their support for me has been good throughout my career," said Hyypia.

"I used to play ice hockey, but considering they both played football I guess there was only one career option for me."

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