Back to basics for Capello ahead of Japan friendly

By Michael Owen
fabio capello

England manager Fabio Capello (Photo: Paul Blank)

Fabio Capello is reverting to a traditional 4-4-2 formation this week at England’s training camp in the build-up to South Africa.

The England squad returned to their high-altitude training camp in Austria yesterday following their 3-1 win over Mexico at Wembley on Monday, a game in which Capello considered adopting a 4-5-1 formation where Wayne Rooney would be used as a lone striker after testing the system the previous week in training.

Capello is said to have reverted back to the more traditional formation after being disappointed and alarmed at the number of times his side gave the ball away against the Central American outfit and is expected to send his side out in a 4-4-2 formation against Japan on Sunday.

Tom Huddlestone, Michael Carrick and Scott Parker will all be hoping to start alongside Frank Lampard against Japan on Sunday in order to show the Italian coach they deserve a place in the squad, with two of the three central midfielders expected to be dropped when the 23-man squad going to South Africa is named.

Full-back Leighton Banes will likely miss out on a place in Capello’s team to face Japan after putting in a poor defensive performance against Mexico, opening the door for Aston Villa defender Stephen Warnock to prove his worth, with the ex-Liverpool left-back expected to be brought on for Ashley Cole who will start the game in Graz.

Sunderland forward Darren Bent is also likely to miss out on a chance to impress the England boss after failing to regain his fitness in time to train, but Manchester City’s Adam Johnson is likely to be given another opportunity after impressing in his cameo appearance against Mexico despite concerns that the boyhood Black Cats fans lacks pace.

Michael Dawson is also unlikely to make the cut, with Matthew Upson named favourite to clinch the fifth and final centre-back spot after both Jamie Carragher and Ledley King looked to have claimed their place during Monday’s warm up game at Wembley.

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