Sven-Goran Eriksson goes into this evening's match against Macedonia knowing tha
Sven-Goran Eriksson goes into this evening's match against Macedonia knowing that he will need his players to be mentally and physically strong if they are to take all three points against the team that held them to a draw at St Mary's last year...
And the England manager has identified three players that he believes will be key to achieving that goal.
Sol Campbell, John Terry and Nicky Butt look set to provide a defensive triangle to protect David James and Sven is convinced that they have the individual and collective attributes to give the team security at the back.
With Rio Ferdinand out, more will be expected of Sol Campbell from everyone, including his manager.
"There's a lot of responsibility on Sol, but I think he is a leader," said Sven.
"He talks well and is the most experienced central defender we've got. Just his presence is important in a game like this. He's a very strong man and we feel more calm when he's in there.
"He's very good at the moment, in his head and his body, everything. He has more assurance now."
Sol looks set to be partnered in the centre of defence by the sturdy and talented figure of John Terry. Sven has been impressed by his strength and agility.
"John Terry is a young talent who could play top-level football internationally and for his club for many, many years," said the England manager. "You can't expect a big guy like Terry to be quick like Kieron Dyer but he is quick."
Meanwhile, Nicky Butt looks ready to re-establish himself in Sven's team. In England's final training session yesterday, the Manchester United man curled an inch-perfect shot home from the edge of the area. Sven knows he'll be important.
"Nicky Butt is a very clever player," he said. "He plays the ball simple and does the right things. I hope he will be at his best because we need him."
The England starting line-up will be announced here on TheFA.com at 4.30pm ... Stay logged on for that and further news from here in Skopje...
To view the Macedonia v England Match Centre, click here...