IT’S SAMBA TIME

The Foot­ball League will be well rep­re­sented at the World Cup in Brazil

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Jack Skelton

WI­GAN’S play-off nightmare could turn to World Cup dreams for Roger Espinoza who wasted no time in turn­ing his at­ten­tions to Hon­duras’ bat­tle against the odds in Brazil next month.

The 27-year-old jet­ted off to Amer­ica to meet up with his in­ter­na­tional team­mates straight af­ter the Lat­ics’ semi­fi­nal de­feat against QPR on Mon­day night. Luis Fer­nando Suarez’ 23-man squad – which also in­cludes Wi­gan’s Juan Car­los Gar­cia – will be put through their paces in the States be­fore a friendly against Eng­land in Mi­ami on June 7.

The ver­sa­tile Espinoza is look­ing to get one over the Three Lions be­fore turn­ing his at­ten­tion to France, Switzer­land and Ecuador in Group E.

Espinoza will also be eye­ing a place in Los Ca­tra­chos folk­lore, with his home­land never pre­vi­ously pro- QPR Benoit As­sou-Ekotto (on loan from Tot­ten­ham) – Cameroon (20 caps, 0 goals) Stephane Mbia (on loan to Sevilla) – Cameroon (41 caps, 3 goals) Niko Kran­j­car (on loan from Dy­namo Kyiv) – Croa­tia (81 caps, 16 goals) Loic cap Yun Kor WIG Jea (57 Jua Hon goa Rog gress­ing be­yond the first round.

“I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to the World Cup and think we can do well in the group stage and could even cause a cou­ple of upsets,” said Espinoza, who is hop­ing to make the start­ing line-up for the opener against France in Porto Ale­gre on June 15.

“We’re a team built on a new gen­er­a­tion of Hon­duran play­ers. We did very well in qual­i­fy­ing, which means we’re all pos­i­tive and con­fi­dent about our chances in the tour­na­ment.

“I might be in the team in time for the friendly against Eng­land. It just de­pends what our man­ager de­cides about when and where I play. Obvi-

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

GOOD TIMES: Micky Mel­lon when man­ager of Fleet­wood

OLYMPIAN: Espinoza play­ing for Hon­duras dur­ing Lon­don 2012

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