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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 June 2006, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Build-up to England v Ecuador
All the pre-match build-up from the day of England's second-round match against Ecuador in Stuttgart.


1452: The teams are in, and England's is exactly as expected.

1447: Indie band the Arctic Monkeys - performing at a festival outside of Berlin - predict a 2-0 win for England, although they have yet to be impressed by the team's displays.

"It seems a bit heartless at the minute, but Stevie Gerrard is a star," they tell BBC Radio Five Live's Juliette Ferrington.

England will certainly be wishing they could play "When the sun goes down". Do you see what I've done there?

1444: "There is a role for Peter Crouch, no doubt. He can come on and change the shape of the game - but he gets the blame for what people see as long balls.

"He's got a great first touch, so he wants the ball played in to his feet. I'm getting tired of explaining to people that Crouch is not to blame for long balls in England games."
Former England manager Graham Taylor on BBC Radio Five Live

1437: The England fans inside the stadium raise the decibel levels as some of the players - including Wayne Rooney - walk out onto the pitch for a gentle warm-up.

1425: British troops are preparing to watch the big game in the Helmand camp in Afghanistan. Spare a thought for them as they will have to get through it without a beer - there's no alcohol allowed on camp.

But they may be able to give the England players some advice on dealing with the heat, with a temperature of 51C recorded there today.

1420: The temperature is reaching 40C in the shade, according to BBC News 24's James Pearce. England's players may well need the ice-baths that are reported to be available at half-time.

1416: BBC Sport Interactive's celebrity spotter Chris Charles secures another exclusive as he spies former England star Stan Collymore on his way to the game.

Collymore, wearing a white England shirt with the number nine on the back and clutching a beer, was on the train with the fans making his way to the stadium.

His prediction? "2-0." To England? "I flipping hope so."

1406: The whole team-talk and preparation is different when you get to the knock-out stages. There is a real focus and people say 'this is it'.

Bobby Robson used to write down flight dates on flipcharts and it was a great feeling to tick them off and think 'we won't be on that flight because we're still in the tournament'.
Former England captain Terry Butcher on BBC Radio Five Live

1354: I don't buy into this theory that Ecuador will be fitter because they are used to training and playing at altitude. As I understand it, once you go back to normal altitude after training high up, the benefits only last four or five days before your body returns to normal."
Former England midfielder Chris Waddle on BBC Radio Five Live

1345: "Fans are streaming towards the stadium and so far the mood is good, with England and Ecuador supporters posing for photos with each other."
Chris Charles, BBC Sport Interactive in Stuttgart

1340: "I've been in three or four penalty shoot-outs with England, and they are a lottery. You can practise as much as you want but it doesn't compare to having 20m people watching on TV and 70,000 in the stadium.

"You're so relieved when you see your own penalty hit the back of the net. I wouldn't wish the feeling of walking up from the halfway line on anyone. The best advice I'd give is to try to win it in the 90 minutes."
Former England captain Alan Shearer on BBC Radio Five Live

1325: "One or two games ago people were talking about my great play and how important I am to the team. Criticism doesn't bother me. I know there are certain agendas out there: my agenda is to win this World Cup and perform at the highest level.

"It's not about David Beckham, it's about an England team progressing into the quarter-finals."
England captain David Beckham, responding to criticism of his recent displays in an interview on BBC Radio Five Live

1318: Former BBC director general and Brentford chairman Greg Dyke is spotted enjoying a plate of pasta and a glass of wine with Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein in an Italian restaurant by BBC Sport Interactive spy Chris Charles.

"I'm quietly optimistic," Dein tells BBC Sport. "I think England will win but they'll have to beat the weather as well. Expect the worst and hope for the best, that's my advice!"

1305: "We're very confident. My prediction is for Ecuador to beat England 1-0."
Ecuador ambassador to the UK Teodoro Maldonado on BBC Radio Five

1302: "A glimmer of hope for England: a few patches of cloud - cirrocumulus if I'm not mistaken - have suddenly appeared. England will pray they grow in number, and quickly."
Chris Charles, BBC Sport Interactive in Stuttgart

1254: "England fans were gathering outside the stadium more than four hours before kick-off, many staying at the campsite just minutes from the ground. They have already been forced to endure fierce heat with the temperature already 32C and expected to get hotter by kick-off time.

"Despite trouble in the centre of Stuttgart on Saturday evening, all appears calm around the stadium."
Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Interactive in Stuttgart

1251: The sprinklers are working overtime at the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion to try to keep the pitch in a normal state for the players.

1235: "It's unbelievably hot in Stuttgart as England fans arrive in their droves. All the talk is of the trouble last night, with locals understandably wary of anyone in an England shirt.

"As far as the team are concerned, Peter Crouch would be well advised to learn some new moves and perform a rain dance."
Chris Charles, BBC Sport Interactive in Stuttgart

1230: "The sea of red black and gold here yesterday has been replaced by red and white as the expected 60,000 England fans arrive.

"At the bar, the atmosphere is rowdy and the beers are again being served in two-litre jugs.

"But on a hot day, fans across the rest of the city are taking in Stuttgart's sites and looking forward to the game."
Clare Heald, BBC News Interactive in Stuttgart

1211: "13m people will switch on their television at mid-morning in Ecuador to watch the match.

"They start as underdogs, but that's how they like it. Whatever happens this will be a huge event here, possibly the biggest event in Ecuador's sporting history."
BBC News' Steve Kingstone in Ecuador capital Quito

1206: The Schlossplatz is filling up with fans of both countries, although England supporters massively outnumber their Ecuadorian counterparts. The sun is beating down relentlessly as the temperatures soar.

1141: "I believe the inclusion of Michael Carrick is more down to the change of right-back. Sven-Goran Eriksson has identified the main threat in the Ecuador team as coming out wide.

"England need someone who will keep it simple and that's why Owen Hargreaves has moved there. He also offers more mobility than Jamie Carragher. If Gary Neville had been fit then I think Hargreaves would have stayed in the holding position."
BBC Radio Five Live football correspondent Mike Ingham

1135: With concerns mounting over the impact the climbing temperatures could have on England's prospects, coach Sven-Goran Erikson insists his side will not be preoccupied by the weather.

"Maybe conditions will suit Ecuador more but most of the time you play in the World Cup or European Championship it is hot," said Eriksson.

"That's nothing new and we knew it would be hot in Germany at this time."

1105: Hundreds of England fans are congregating in the main square, although the Schlossplatz is nowhere near as busy as on Saturday when 40,000 supporters gathered to watch Germany's win over Sweden on big screens.

1040: Any doubts over whether Michael Carrick will be taking the field or not have been cleared up.

Carrick, speaking on the Football Association's website, says: "I want to take the chance and make the most of it.

"This is the biggest game of my career by far and everything I have dreamed of. It is everything that I have worked towards since I started playing football.

"Everyone has a role in the side and hopefully mine is to get a lot of possession for us, keep the ball and make things happen and give Frank (Lampard) and Stevie (Gerrard) the freedom to go and cause havoc in the last third."

1035: "It's going to be uncomfortable, but that means the ball should do the work. You cannot be chasing the game in this heat.

"But if England get the basics right, everything should be OK."
BBC Radio Five Live football correspondent Mike Ingham

1021: The weather forecast is proving worryingly accurate. BBC News 24's James Pearce says the temperature at 1100 local time already suggests that Sunday is shaping up to be "one of the hottest days since the World Cup started".

He added: "It will be a big issue. England will not be able to play at full pace for 90 minutes."

1006: "It's a really tough situation for Michael Owen. You have to have been in that situation as an athlete to understand how heartbroken and disappointed he will be.

"I'm sure his thoughts will be with the rest of the lads and I'm sure they'll play well and get a good result against Ecuador."
Great Britain athlete Paula Radcliffe on Radio Five Live

0945: "England should win 2-0 or 2-1. It's just fantastic to be here, a dream come true to come back and see England play."
Tom and Ben, pupils from Mayville High School. They are in Stuttgart for the match after missing a previous England game because of a ticket scam.

0935: "Hopefully England will win 2-0. I hope we can get the second goal to get control and not have butterflies in our stomachs with 10 minutes to go."
Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson on Radio Five Live

0930: England's players will probably enjoy the traditional match-day lie-in at their Stuttgart hotel as they prepare to face Ecuador.

So what will they be hearing from their manager when they are ready to go out into what are expected to be fierce temperatures? For Eriksson, this is very much a late judgement call.

"You can't prepare what you are going to say. I think you see the warm-up, see how they are in the dressing room after the warm-up, then you decide what to say," said Eriksson.
Phil McNulty, BBC Sport Interactive in Stuttgart

0925: There is worrying news for England, with temperatures in Stuttgart potentially climbing to 35C during the game.

England struggled in their opening game against Paraguay, with Eriksson and captain David Beckham citing the heat as one of the factors behind their poor second-half performance.

"It can't be ruled out that Sunday in Stuttgart could be the hottest day of the World Cup - it's going to be a scorcher," said ARD television weatherman Joerg Kachelmann.

0918: "I'm expecting a win. How we get there, in knockout football, isn't too important. Today is when it really matters, when it gets exciting and when you can't make any mistakes.

"I'm predicting a 2-1 win to England."
Former England captain Alan Shearer on BBC Radio Five Live


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