Monday, November 29, 1999

England look to Barry for inspiration against Algeria

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Rustenburg (South Africa), June 17 (DPA) After an indifferent opening to the World Cup football, England are looking to the return of Gareth Barry to bring back the fluency in their qualifying campaign.An ankle injury sustained in May meant Barry missed England's 1-1 draw with the United States last Saturday, but manager Fabio Capello confirmed he will start against Algeria in England's Group C clash in Cape Town on Friday.His return to a holding position should mean Steven Gerrard returning to the left side in place of James Milner.Capello has hinted he will stick with Robert Green in goal, despite the error that gifted Clint Dempsey the US equalizer Saturday, and he also suggested Jermain Defoe may replace Emile Heskey as Rooney's strike partner, despite the Aston Villa striker's good performance in the opener.That then leaves Capello to find a substitute for Ledley King, who has a groin injury, at centre-back.Liverpool's Jamie Carrager, who replaced him from the bench on Saturday, seems the most likely, but that raises concerns about a lack of pace in England's back four.'Every player has different strengths and weaknesses, no player has everything. I'm certainly not slow but I'm not the quickest,' he said.'If you are playing against a quick striker you play deeper. If there's a slow striker you push up. The reason myself and John Terry are at this level is that we are good at reading the game rather than having outstanding pace.'While others, including Green, relaxed on the golf course last Sunday, Carragher stayed in the hotel to watch England's next opponents lose 1-0 to Slovenia.'I thought Algeria were a little bit unlucky,' he said. 'We would have probably preferred a draw. They went down to 10 men, then Slovenia scored the goal.'Both teams evened themselves out, but I thought Algeria just had the edge, and maybe the ball did something strange (on the goal).'He admitted unfamiliarity with their opponents presents an additional problem for England.'Maybe it is but that's something we will be working on this week we get all the videos and all the information we need,' he said.'It's similar to when you play in Europe for your club. You don't know absolutely everything about the other team, but a few days before you watch videos.'Algeria may be without goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi, who misjudged Robert Koren's winner on Sunday. He has a strained left knee, and could be replaced by Slavia Sofia's Rais Bolhi.Abdelkader Ghezzal is suspended after being dismissed for his second bookable offence against Slovenia and Portsmouth midfielder Hassan Yebda admits Friday represents a severe test.'I watched the England game against the United States and I thought it was a good game,' he said.'I don't see a lot of weaknesses in the England side, they have so many good players. But we will try to give our best. We want to win our final two games to qualify.'

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