International Friendly: England vs. Slovenia


England face Slovenia tonight in a friendly match at Wembley Stadium to warm-up for the vital World Cup qualifier against Croatia next week.

The Three Lions was defeated by Croatia in 2007 to miss out on a place in Euro 2008 but won in Zagreb last year, one of their seven successive WC qualifying victories in Group 6.

A win over Vatreni on Wednesday will secure Fabio Capello’s side a place at the World Cup finals in South Africa next June and leave the Italian coach with nothing more to think about than honing his line-up.

Ahead of the Slovenia game, Capello confirmed that he intends to stay in his current post until 2012. In a recent interview, he said: “My contract ends in 2012 and I want to respect it.”

Capello took over after Steve McClaren failed to push England to last year’s Euro championships. The 61-year-old tactician has led the Three Lions to seven consecutive wins in qualifying for next year’s World Cup.

England are massive favourites in tonight’s match, there’s no doubt about that. Jermain Defoe is set to start up front alongside Wayne Rooney, ahead of Emile Heskey.

Game time is 6:30 p.m. CET (12:30 p.m. ET).

UPDATE: A controversial penalty from Frank Lampard and a second half goal from Jermain Defoe helped England to a 2-1 friendly win over Slovenia.