World Cup

Toshack rates England's WC chances

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John Toshack believes Fabio Capello's England will be amongst the three leading contenders to lift the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Wales boss will lock horns with Capello's team in their Euro 2012 qualifying group alongside Switzerland, Bulgaria and Montenegro from next September.

But before that the former Real Madrid manager expects England, Spain and one of the African nations to be challenging strongly for glory this summer.

Toshack said: "Can Capello help England realise their potential this summer? We have to wait and see really. Before that it was a bad time for England, not even qualifying for Euro 2008.

"At other times, England have beaten teams they should beat. By their standards, given the groups they have been in, you would expect them to do well.

"But when they have got to the higher level, it hasn't always happened for them and, even now, over the last few years, I think when they have played the top sides they have lost to Spain and France.

"We shall have to see how they do this summer. A lot of things come into consideration but, this time around, I would look and say England would be one of my top three for the World Cup.

"If I had to pick three for this World Cup, they would be one of them. I also like the way the Spanish side are playing and I think an African side will get to the semi-finals at least.

"I would put England and Spain in there - and you would never bet against Brazil when big tournaments come around but I think England this time around can be up there with a real strong challenge."

Toshack is hoping a successful World Cup for England might work to Wales' advantage when they try to qualify from their Euro group.

He said: "It would be nice for us if they brought the cup back and paraded it around Wembley in September - and we went there and spoilt the party a bit.

"I think they would settle for that and I think we would as well!

"All the teams in the group are going to motivated to play against England, particularly if they have a very good World Cup, which I think they will."

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