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Thursday, June 04, 2009

England vs Kazakhstan Preview, Live Score: World Cup Qualifying 2010

England football team is going to play in Kazakhstan for the first time as the three lions will take on the home side on 6 June in Group 6 match of FIFA world cup qualifying 2010. English season has just finished and there are a number of injury concerns for England coach Fabio Capello ahead of the game. However, England does not need to worry much about Kazakhstan whom they thrashed 5-1 at home in October last year. This is very important to note that England is currently leading the point table of Group 6 with maximum 15 points as Capello boys has won all five games so far in their world cup qualifying mission.

Kazakhstan also has something to take inspiration from their 5-1 mauling by England at the Wembley Stadium, England. Even though the Kazakhs lost the game by a big margin, they kept the England players waiting to get their first goal until second, maintaining clean sheet in the first half. Coach Bernd Shtork has always given priority to the fitness level of the players.

No doubt, Kazakhstan players conceded a number of goals mainly because of lack of stamina in that match which was followed by a 5-1 home defeat to Belarus in April 2009. Shtork is now so strict about fitness that he even ruled out strike Murat Tleshev, who was the leading scorer of last season, from the squad for the England match due to his 9 kilograms overweight. Goalkeeper David Loria has also failed to make it to the squad on fitness ground. The manager called up 8 uncapped players in the 22-men squad. Captain Ruslan Baltiyev has been ruled out due to knee injury, and Andrei Karpovich will deputize the team in his absence.

With only 3 points from 5 matches, Kazakhstan is now out of the race to make it to the final event of FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Though Kazakhstan is a minnows in the group, England is less likely to take them lightly because they are going to play in the country for the first time and the condition will be unfamiliar for the England team. Keeping his respect for the opposition, England midfielder and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said that it is a game that England should win. He thinks that England should go into the game with right attitude.

USA Today reported:

"With all due respect to Kazakhstan and Andorra, these are games we should win so, we need to approach them with the right attitude and get the job done," midfielder Steven Gerrard said. "If we win these two games, we will be three points away from qualification with three games to play.

"That puts us basically in the driving seat."

England does not need to worry about their recent form as they have won 10 out of their lat 11 international games and have not lost any point in their qualifying campaign yet. The only problem is a number of injury woes that they are dealing with now. They are currently missing three goalkeepers David James, Chris Kirkland and Ben Foster who are suffering from injury. Aaron Lennon and Stewart Downing will miss the game due to injury. Most importantly, England will miss two key players in Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand due to injury. Even Chelsea left back Ashley Cole is also doubtful for the game. Emile Heskey returned from injury, but Peter Crouch is more likely to stick to his position up front.

England team will also have to adapt to the weather and condition when they will face Kazakhstan at the Almaty Central Stadium, Almaty. The stadium is about 700 metres above sea level. No doubt, it would be a big challenge for England to adapt to the condition.

Telegraph reported:

Of more immediate concern to Capello, when he takes his squad for a training session here on Thursday, will be the conditions. At the foot of the Tien Shan Mountains, Almaty is around 700 metres above sea level, which will take some adjusting to, while pollution levels are also high.

Online Live Score and Updates

Here, I am giving some websites from where you can get the live score and updates of the match:

Live Score




ESPN Soccernet



Overall, England is clearly favorite for the game, but English players have to face some pressure due to their favorite’s tag and deal with the challenges to adapt to the new condition. Kazakhstan has nothing to lose in the game, but has everything to win in front of their home fans. Naturally, Kazakhstan will have no pressure while facing England, and this could in turn inspire the Kazakh players to display an inspirational performance against England.

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