I can see the twinkling Wembley floodlights from my window. It’s been a long time since England have qualified for a major tournament with two games to spare. Saturday’s defeat in Ukraine might have left a dent in Fabio Capello’s excellent qualifying campaign and tonight’s finale against Belarus gives some of the fringe players a chance to book a place on the plane to South Africa.
For the likes of Foster, Agbonlahor and Crouch – and possibly Milner and Carlton Cole from the bench – this is an opportunity they really need to seize with only a few friendlies between now and the squad annoucement for the World Cup finals – and you have to think that Fabio will recall some of the stellar names for those games. Looks like a conventional 4-4-2 tonight too. It will be interesting to see how this shadow squad goes against Belarus, who gave England a real test for a while in the reverse fixture.
ENGLAND (4-4-2): Foster; Johnson, Bridge, Ferdinand, Terry; Barry, Lampard, Lennon, Wright-Phillips; Crouch, Agbonlahor. Subs: Hart, Upson, A. Cole, Milner, Carrick, Beckham, C. Cole.