Gerrard key as England seek goals

CAPE TOWN - Steven Gerrard, goalscorer in the opening 1-1 draw with the United States, is set for an attacking midfield role as England look for goals to secure an emphatic win over Algeria on Friday.

If the United States and England both beat their lower-ranked rivals Algeria and Slovenia in their remaining games, then top spot will be decided by goal difference.

Finishing top will earn a probable second round game against Ghana, Serbia or Australia and a probable quarter-final against France, Mexico or Uruguay.

Coming second is likely to set up a last-16 meeting with Germany and then a quarter-final against Argentina - the two form teams of the opening week of the competition and all-too-often England's nemesis.

With Gareth Barry set to return to a holding midfield role after missing the U.S. game with an ankle injury, Gerrard will be released to a wide role in support of likely strikers Wayne Rooney and Emile Heskey.

"We'll have to wait and see what formation and 11 the manager decides on but I imagine I'll be in be in a more attacking role and I'm looking forward to it," Gerrard told reporters after a brief training session at Green Point stadium.

"Hopefully in this game you will see a more fluent performance from England. We have looked sharp in training and everyone is looking for a convincing win tomorrow."

Rooney has 25 England goals but his last came in September while Heskey, who struggled to secure a regular first-team place at Aston Villa last season, has only seven goals in 59 England appearances.

Gerrard, however, was unconcerned about the dry run.

"Wayne has looked great in training and it is only a matter of time before he finds the back of the net and everyone says he is on great form again," he said.

Manager Fabio Capello has the internationally prolific Peter Crouch and sharp-finishing Jermain Defoe available but seems set to keep faith with the duo who started the first game.

"I think he played very well, Heskey is important for movement but also a different supporter of the other players," the Italian said.

"I have in my mind the first 11 but I was happy after the U.S. game after everything I saw - but not the result. I think we played a good game. We created a lot of chances but didn't score the goals."

Although England will be looking for goals, Capello is wary of the north Africans' threat to his own defence, which will be reshuffled in the absence on injured centre back Ledley King.

"I respect them, they have scored a lot of goals," he said of the team beaten 1-0 by Slovenia in their opener.

"Algeria are dangerous at free-kicks and corners and also on counter-attack. Not one game is easy. It will be a big mistake to think this game will be."

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