Saturday, August 26, 2006

Katanec hopes for good show v England

SKOPJE, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Macedonia coach Srecko Katanec said he hoped his team would provide stiff opposition to England in their Euro 2008 qualifier on Sept. 6, despite their opponents' quality.

"Talking about England's quality would be superfluous and I hope we will put in a good performance," he told the Macedonian Soccer Association (FFM) Web site from his home in Slovenia.

"(England Manager) Steve McLaren has added a new quality to the side, the high tempo they demonstrated in a 4-0 win against Greece in a recent friedly," he said.

"England will surely look to repeat that kind of performance in their opening qualifier against Andorra on Sept 2. and in Skopje four days later. They are the group favourites."

The other teams in Group E are Russia, Croatia and Israel.

Katanec named the same squad that beat Estonia 1-0 in Talinn on Aug 16. That includes only one home-based player, reserve goalkeeper Tome Pacovski from champions Rabotnicki Skopje.

"There is no time for experiments and no need to change the winning team unless something unpredictable happens," he said.

"The atmosphere is great after the win against Estonia and we need to use that in our most important match of the year, a clash in which we have nothing to lose."

England drew with Macedonia 2-2 in Southampton and beat them 2-1 in Skopje under former manager Sven-Goran Eriksson on the road to the Euro 2004 finals.


Goalkeepers: Jane Nikolovski (Slaven Koprivncica, Croatia), Tome Pacovski (Rabotnicki Skopje)

Defenders: Goce Sedloski (Mattersburg, Austria), Igor Mitreski (Energie Cottbus, Germany), Nikolce Novevski (Mainz, Germany), Aleksandar Vasovski (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany), Robert Petrov (CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria), Vlade Lazarevski (Groclin Grodzisk, Poland)

Midfielders: Igor Jancevski (Enosis Paralimni, Cyprus), Velice Sumolikovski (Bursaspor, Turkey), Vlatko Grozdanovski (Omonia, Cyprus), Darko Tasevski (Metalurg Zaporizhya, Ukraine), Artim Sakiri (Aalborg, Denmark), Aleksandar Mitrevski (Cologne, Germany)

Strikers: Goran Pandev (Lazio, Italy), Aco Stojkov (Partizan Belgrade, Serbia), Ilco Naumovski (Mattersburg, Austria), Goran Maznov (Lokeren, Belgium)

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