Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

England can deliver, says Brazil's Luca

Brazil midfielder Lucas believes England have a golden chance to win the 2010 World Cup because "now they play as a team."

The Liverpool player has immense respect for the way England have developed into a potent force under Fabio Capello.

And he feels the meeting between the two sides in Doha on Saturday will be an ideal yardstick of how they are progressing ahead of the finals in South Africa.

Lucas said: "I think England are a top-level side. We have a lot of respect for them. We know all the players very well.

"They are playing for the big teams in maybe the best league in the world. It will be a good game for both sides to see the level they are at because we are so close to the World Cup now.

"Is this England's best chance of winning the World Cup? I think so. Of course, England have always had a good squad but I think the last results have really shown the quality.

"Now they play as a team. They have great players like Frank Lampard and my Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard who are always dangerous.

"We hope we can beat England but know it will be a really hard game. They have been very impressive in qualifying for the World Cup."

Lucas believes current Brazil coach Dunga - their former midfield player - has made a big impact in trying to combine flair with the importance of being solid.

He said: "Brazil have a lot of quality and skilful players but are also trying to defend well, That is the key for any team and we will try to do that against England

"Dunga has improved us a lot. He has tried to help all the players. He has improved everything.

"With Brazil, people expect you to play with skill and flair all the time but with Dunga we are looking to play as a team with everyone helping each other."

Lucas is confident that Liverpool's fortunes will be revived when he reports back for duty at Liverpool.

He said: "I think Liverpool are playing well. Maybe we need something more but I hope we turn the bad situation around.

"Even against Lyon, then (Manchester United) and Birmingham, I think we played well.

"We conceded some goals, maybe our mistakes, but we have to keep working and hopefully the international break will have come at a good time for us.

"Some players are injured so hopefully they will be fit for the next game."

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