Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Andorran Win Will Not Help McClaren

LONDON -- England faces Andorra on Wednesday in a Euro 2008 qualifier that will almost certainly end in victory for Steve McClaren's men, but is unlikely to ease the pressure on their unpopular manager.

England's 0-0 draw in Israel on Saturday extended a dismal run without a win to five games, including three qualifiers, during which they have scored only one goal and slipped to a distant third in Group E.

It is England's worst run of results for 26 years.

Croatia is leading with 13 points, Russia is second with 11, while England has eight, the same number as Israel.

Criticism of England's disjointed performance in Tel Aviv and doubts about McClaren's ability to coach at the highest level have now become a recurring theme of the media and the message boards used by England fans.

Their team lacked any real bite up front, despite all the Churchillian rhetoric from the England camp before the game, and looked shaky at the back in the opening stages.

Fortunately for McClaren, there are teams like Andorra around.

The game in Barcelona's Montjuic Olympic Stadium is Andorra's 23rd European qualifier and all of the previous 22 have ended in defeat.

Whatever side McClaren fields should be victorious against a team it trounced 5-0 in September at Old Trafford and the coach is likely to make a few changes -- mainly by giving starts to Saturday's substitutes.

Ashley Cole returns from suspension at left back while Micah Richards is expected to take over at right back.

Striker Jermain Defoe, who looked more threatening than Andy Johnson and who scored twice against Andorra last time, should get the nod, while the promising Aaron Lennon could well make way for the natural left-winger Stewart Downing.

Lennon could then take over from Steven Gerrard in the latter stages in his more natural position on the right flank.

The Andorrans enjoyed their most successful qualifying campaign for a major tournament in their unsuccessful bid to make last year's World Cup, taking five points from their group matches, but they have shown no sign of repeating that feat this time around.

The team from the tiny Pyrenean principality has conceded 19 goals and scored just once in four heavy defeats that included the 5-0 drubbing by England in its opening match and a 7-0 hammering in Croatia.

Coach David Rodrigo, who has held the job since 1999 and is the second longest-serving coach in Europe, has further problems because of injury and suspension to several regulars and has not yet named his final squad.