Capello declares England can reach World Cup final

England coach Fabio Capello has declared his target is to reach the World Cup final.
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England coach Fabio Capello has declared his target is to reach the World Cup final.

Capello believes his team are capable of reaching the World Cup final ahead of Saturday's opening game with the United States in Rustenburg.

Capello confirmed midfielder Gareth Barry will be among the England substitutes after recovering from the ankle injury he suffered on duty with Manchester City towards the end of last season.

The Italian was in a confident mood ahead of the meeting with Bob Bradley's side.

He said: "England are ready for this match. The first game is always hard because expectation levels are really big. But we have been here eight days, training has gone very well and we are confident.

"We know the expectation levels of the fans is really good. But I am sure the team can reach the final. I genuinely believe we have a squad that can make it to the final."

Capello confirmed he knows his starting line-up for the match but will not reveal it to the players until two hours before kick-off.

He said: "I will not tell the players who is playing until two hours before the game, which is what I always do. The reason I do that is because if you name the side overnight and then someone is injured, it is not easy to recall the other player who was not originally picked.

"What I am looking for is the same spirit that England showed in qualification games for the World Cup. I want us to be really compact on the pitch. These players are physically fine and their minds are very focused on this game coming up. They have a lot of desire and appetite to do well.

"The players here are the best English players. I am confident."