Matt the man

Matthew Upson will carry the hopes and best wishes of Hammers fans everywhere with him this afternoon should he line up as expected for England against Germany.

The West Ham United captain is tipped to keep his place as Fabio Capello's men take on their old foes for a place in the 2010 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals. Upson came in to the side for the last group match against Slovenia on Wednesday and, in a superb defensive display that led to a crucial 1-0 win, more than held his own alongside John Terry.

Capello was his usual cagey self in speaking to the media before the match in Bloemfontein but suggested there would be few changes, if any. "I know my team, probably you know the same," he said. The England manager could drop Upson in place of Jamie Carragher who is back from suspension or fit-again Ledley King, but most neutrals expect the West Ham man to start.

His confidence will be high, and that is something that Capello values. "Confidence is really important, particularly here at the World Cup," he added. "Without confidence, it's impossible to go forward. If you play with fear, it's impossible to play well, it's impossible to score goals and it's impossible to find the mentality you need to defend well.

"Whenever you play in a tournament like this, you have to be compact; you have to be really, really strong as a unit. The spirit of the team is really showing."

1966 World Cup winners statue

An England flag flies from the 1966 World Cup winners' statue on Green Street