Football

Capello ponders Heskey-Defoe decision

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England manager Fabio Capello admits he has "more or less" made up his mind over whether to play Emile Heskey or Jermain Defoe in Wednesday night's crucial World Cup qualifier against Croatia at Wembley.

Capello has seen Tottenham striker Defoe score five goals in three substitute appearance, but the physical presence of Aston Villa frontman Heskey could give him the nod against Slaven Bilic's men, where a win would see England safely through to South Africa next summer.

"More or less, I have decided in my mind," said the England manager at a media conference at Arsenal's Shenley training ground.

"Heskey and Defoe are both really important for me, each has a different style, but are both really important.

"We will be playing at home and Croatia will play in a different style. We have to prepare for a different game."

Capello dismissed any talk of revenge from the failure to reach Euro 2008 when Croatia recorded a infamous victory at Wembley, which ended Steve McClaren's reign.

"That match is too old, it was too long ago. It is history," declared the Italian when asked if he had watched the game as part of his planning.

"I prefer to look at the next game. I do not speak about a game that they played two years ago. I have to motivate the players for Wednesday, not what happened two years ago.

"They will go into this game thinking about how we won in Croatia."

Capello added: "We have three finals to play now - Wednesday will be the first, after will be in Ukraine, then the last at home to Belarus."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal
Football
Emile Heskey
Premier League
Jermain Defoe
Aston Villa

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