New England boss Capello is up for the cup as he flies in to watch Villa take on United


Last updated at 10:49 04 January 2008

Fabio Capello's love affair with

English football will begin three

days early after he insisted on

watching two FA Cup third-round

ties this weekend.

Capello, who had been due to take up

his £6.5million-a-year job on Monday, will

fly into London later today to start work

as the new England manager.

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He plans to watch Aston Villa entertain

Manchester United tomorrow evening

— especially Villa's electrifying forward

Gabriel Agbonlahor.

The Italian

also wants to attend a game on Sunday,

which may be Liverpool's visit to Luton.

Capello drew up his itinerary after talking

to FA chief Brian Barwick yesterday,

who will accompany him to Villa Park.

The new boss will also discover David

Beckham began training at Arsenal on

Wednesday in a clear attempt to impress.

Beckham has started work in the London

Colney gym and will train with the

Arsenal first team when fully fit.

He is

expected to win his 100th cap next month against Switzerland —

Capello's first game in


Beyond that

there will be no


Sportsmail revealed on

Monday that Under 21

star Agbonlahor has

already caught the

Italian's eye when he

watched videos of

recent matches.

Villa's team is packed

with English talent —

Scott Carson, Curtis

Davies, Nigel

Reo-Coker, Gareth

Barry, Ashley Young

and Agbonlahor —

while Rio Ferdinand,

Wayne Rooney, Wes

Brown, Michael

Carrick and Owen

Hargreaves are

expected to play some

part for United.

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Gabriel Agbonlahor

Capello could even

witness Gary Neville's return after a 10-month

injury absence.


who may be on the

United bench, said

yesterday: "I'm close,

I've trained with the

team for two-and-a-half

weeks now and I even

felt like I could have

been involved against

Birmingham on New

Year's Day."

As for Agbonlahor, his

Villa captain Barry said:

"There are going to be a

lot of changes and

Gabby is the name

making a lot of


"Pace is the difference

between Gabby and a

lot of players. He has

that extra yard which

will help him in the

future. There are not

too many who can stay

with him and he

frightens defenders."

Although the spine of

the England team is

likely to remain the

same, there should be

changes when Capello

names his squad next

month after having

watched around 50

games in person.

He has also been

studying DVDs of

Barclays Premier

League matches over


Soho Square officials

were still finalising

Capello's flight details

from Marbella last night

and he will be booked

into a hotel for his first

month here.

Despite an offer to dine

for free at Locanda

Locatelli, London's

finest Italian

restaurant, he has told

friends that he is

'looking forward' to

eating roast beef and

Yorkshire pudding for

the first time.