Belhadj - James must start
Algeria defender expects recall for Pompey team-mate
By Ben Collins. Last Updated: June 15, 2010 10:05am
Belhadj: No fear
Algeria defender Nadir Belhadj believes England must recall club-mate David James for their Group C clash in Cape Town on Friday.
Fabio Capello selected Robert Green in goal for England's World Cup opener on Saturday and the West Ham keeper gifted the USA an equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
Belhadj admitted his shock to see Capello overlook Portsmouth team-mate James, who turns 40 in August and has 50 caps.
But the 27-year-old full-back expects James to be recalled for England's second World Cup game, which the Three Lions must win to have a realistic hope of topping Group C.
"I know James and for me it was a surprise not to see him in goal for England against the USA," Belhadj told the Daily Star.
"I think James is a far better goalkeeper and much more experienced, and he should be in goal against us later this week.
"Green made a very bad mistake and I can't see how he can carry on."
Newly-installed captain Steven Gerrard got England's World Cup campaign off to a dream start with a fourth-minute opener.
But they allowed the USA back into the game before missing a host of second-half chances.
Star striker Wayne Rooney was quiet until the latter stages, when he unleashed a speculative 20-yard strike that went agonisingly wide.
And although Belhadj is aware Algeria, who lost 1-0 to Slovenia in their opener, must keep a tight rein on the Manchester United man, he insists the North African outfit will not resort to rough-house tactics.
"The English have a wonderful squad of players, but that does not mean we can't beat them," he said.
"We are not scared of them, but for me the real danger is Rooney.
"If he plays against us like he has at times for Manchester United this season, then we could be in trouble.
"We all know that we have to stop Rooney and that means playing the best game of our lives and making sure that Rooney does not get any space to play in.
"This is a massive game for us so we want to play in the right way, so there will be no chance we will go out and kick Rooney.
"We will play with pride and motivation because beating England would be a massive achievement for us."