Capello wary of wounded Argentina

LONDON - England manager Fabio Capello is not writing off Argentina's World Cup chances despite questioning Diego Maradona's strategy of constantly changing the team.

LONDON - England manager Fabio Capello is not writing off Argentina's World Cup chances despite questioning Diego Maradona's strategy of constantly changing the team.

While Capello's side breezed through qualifying and clinched a spot in South Africa with two games to spare, Argentina squeezed through in its final match to avoid a playoff.

Uncertainty still surrounds the future of the erratic Maradona, who has continually juggled his line-up, using around 80 players during his first year in charge.

"They had some problems because they only qualified in the last game. I think there were problems in the style and he changed the team a lot of times with a different first XI," Capello said.

"Maradona is not my problem, but Argentina are always a really good team. Argentina is really important for the movement of football around the world because of players like (Lionel) Messi and a lot of other important players.

"It's always a show when they play and for this reason I think it is good they will be at the World Cup."

As for England's chances, a barometer of the team's progress will be how it performs against Brazil in a friendly next Saturday in Doha, Qatar.

"Brazil play like a team now, not waiting for a stroke of genius from one player ... it is not only my imagination that Brazil are one of the best." While England won nine out of 10 qualifiers, Capello's squad has had mixed results in friendlies against European powers, beating Germany, but losing to 1998 World Cup winner France and European champion Spain, while drawing with the Netherlands.

"It's a different style that we met (each time) and we understand a lot about the different styles against Holland, Germany and France now," Capello said. "I think about my team and I analyse the team I have to beat. To win the World Cup you have to beat all the teams.

"We will speak about the French and Argentina but one or two of the African teams will be challengers. Ivory Coast and Ghana are really good and the passion of the South Africans will help their team a lot." - Sapa-AP

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