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Nothing to fear
19/06/06
The message from Sven-Goran Erikssonís England camp yesterday was loud and clear: we fear no one.


And there is no doubt that England are out to win Group B and not worry about who they meet in the second round.

England need a point against Sweden to top the table, but Germany must beat Ecuador to pip the South Americans for top spot in Group A.

England will go in to their final Group match against Sweden in Cologne tomorrow knowing exactly who they will face, win, lose or draw.

However, Erikssonís assistant, Tord Grip, declared: "I think itís good to win the group. It means more time between the games.

"If it means we meet Germany, we will deal with that.

"We will not go into any game to avoid winning in order to not meet a certain opponent, I do not fancy that. We should go out to win every game and that is what we will do."

And a similarly bullish Germany skipper, Michael Ballack revealed that the hosts are happy with their draw regardless.

He said: "We are certainly not afraid of England and I donít think they are afraid of us either.

"Against Ecuador we will not think about England, Sweden or Trinidad & Tobago."

"A win would give us more confidence for a potential meeting with England."

Grip also insisted that he expects to see England play with more freedom from now on.

He said: "We have defended very well so far but now I think the players, knowing that we have qualified, will come out and play a bit more.

"Itís time to go forward, be clever and take the game to our opponents. We have created goal chances without taking them. Now if we do that, things will get much better for us.

"In training today we were looking sharper."

Grip is in his sixth World Cup as a coach and a scout. He helped Sweden reach the semis in 1994 but is now looking to help England beat his home nation for the first time since 1968.

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