Preview: England v Ecuador

While most coaches settled long ago on their favoured side and formation for the big matches of the World Cup Finals, England’s Sven Goran Eriksson appears ready to tinker with his team yet again as they prepare to face Ecuador in Stuttgart on Sunday.

    Time to tinker?

    Despite having been at the helm for over four and a half years, the Swede coach is yet to decide on a preferred system or formation.

    While the makeup of the team is always a subject of wild speculation in England, it does seem that a new look side is being prepared for the last 16 match up.

    Reports suggest that Spurs player Michael Carrick is set for his World Cup debut as a holding midfielder as part of a 4-1-4-1 formation.

    The other shock selection is set to be Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves at right back for the demoted Jamie Carragher.

    Despite the debate, one player who is certain to be in the side is captain David Beckham.

    The Real Madrid player has been annoyed by suggestions that young midfielder Aaron Lennon offers more on the right side than the 92 match capped Beckham.

    "I'm not going to sit here and talk about my form because it's not for me to sit here and talk about David Beckham.

    Michael Carrick: new man in the
    frame

    "It's for me to sit here and talk about England going into the last 16 of the World Cup," he told reporters.

    He made no apologies for his game which is based on delivery.

    "To get the best out of me you have to give me the ball," he said.
      
    "If I'm given the ball then 99.9 percent of the time I'll put it in the right space for people to score goals. It's been hard to do that because I've had two players doubling back on me whenever we've played."

    The former Manchester United player is still haunted by his side's meek exit from the last World Cup when they lost to a 10-man Brazil side.

    "I was gutted after we got beat by Brazil in Japan because I did think that when we'd gone 1-0 up we'd put ourselves in a good position to go on and win it from there," he said.

    "No excuses"

    "But it wasn't meant to be. Now this time is the best chance I feel we've had for many years."

    His sentiments are echoed by the English population who have long believed this to be a golden chance to add to their sole World Cup star.

    "There's no excuses this time," Beckham said.

    "In the past we've gone out of competitions at stages when we should have gone further. 

    "It's up to us now - we're the ones who can progress as a team.
      
    "I think all the players in the squad who've been around for a while and played in World Cups before do realise that chances as good as this don't come that often," the 31 year old added.
      

    Beckham ready to jump through
    the hoops

    "We're an English team, playing in Europe, playing in Germany, the weather's been great for us most of the time. Everything is right.
      
    "That doesn't happen very often. In four years time it's going to be in South Africa, four years after that maybe Australia or South America and we're talking about different climates. This is an opportunity we don't want to waste."

    Suarez confident

    Despite many people dismissing his side’s chances of continuing their World Cup run past Sunday, Ecuador coach Luis Suarez was upbeat.

    "What we have done is not all," Suarez said. "There is more to come. The World Cup has not ended for Ecuador.

    "There is no reason for us to feel beaten before the match. If we are going to lose, let it be during the match, not before."

    The side will be boosted by the return of their two key strikers Agustin Delgado and Carlos Tenorio who were both rested as they lost 3-0 to Germany.

    "The team are happy about what they've done so far," added Suarez.

    "We have already earned respect. I hope we continue to make history."

    History is beckoning one team, who will it be?

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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