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Chelsea's Essien wants England in World Cup

Chelsea's Ghana midfield ace Michael Essien is hoping to face England at next year's World Cup.

Like England, Ghana qualified early for South Africa 2010 and Essien would relish the chance to face Chelsea team-mates John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Joe Cole next summer.

He said: "We expected to make it to South Africa 2010, so there wasn't that much of a celebration.

"It was a subdued atmosphere - it was all thumbs up and well done with no big celebrations. That's how far this squad has come.

"England's qualification was similar to ours in that they also qualified with two games to go and they were also expected to qualify so it wasn't a big deal either.

"But now both teams are at the World Cup, my wish is for Ghana to play England. If we both have fully fit squads to choose from it will be a battle - Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah and Sulley Muntari versus Frank Lampard, Stephen Gerrard and Gareth Barry in the middle of the park.

"As we say in Ghana, when two elephants fight it's the grass that suffers!"

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