Ferdinand and Defoe Omitted From Squad To Face Montenegro
Pete South reports on a couple of players who will be fans for the evening…
Rio Ferdinand and Jermain Defoe have been left out of Fabio Capello’s England squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro on Friday.
Ferdinand has struggled with injury so far this season and only recently made his comeback for Manchester United against Stoke two weeks ago, and was a substitute in United’s last Premier League encounter against Norwich.
With Gary Cahill and United team-mate Phil Jones in the squad along with Everton’s Phil Jagielka and captain John Terry, there was no room for the former Leeds and West Ham defender who will now target securing regular first team football with his club as he works his way back to full match fitness.
Defoe has begun the season well with Tottenham Hotspur and appears reinvigorated after a poor campaign last time round, but his two goals in five games so far this season were not enough to persuade Capello to select him, with the Italian instead preferring Danny Welbeck and Bobby Zamora to join Darren Bent, Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll in the striking department.
England are the football betting favourites to top Group G after back to back wins against Bulgaria and Wales last month moved them six points clear of 2nd placed Montenegro.
Elsewhere Steven Gerrard is not risked after he recently made his comeback with Liverpool after a six month lay-off, but Ashley Young is included despite not playing in Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over Norwich because of an ankle knock.
Spurs fullback Kyle Walker rounded off a good week by being called up by Capello hours after he had helped his side claim a memorable win over North London rivals Arsenal with a 25-yard strike while Frank Lampard is also in the mix having responded to being dropped by both club and country in recent games with an emphatic hat-trick against Bolton on Sunday.
England need just one point from their trip to Montenegro to qualify for Euro 2012, however Capello insists his side will go all out for the win.
“If you play for a draw it is a big mistake, you are defending a result and it is easy then to make silly or stupid mistakes,” he told FATV.
“We need to go to win in Montenegro and not to play for a draw.”
England squad: Scott Carson (Bursaspor), Joe Hart (Man City), David Stockdale (Ipswich); Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Bolton), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Man Utd), Micah Richards (Man City), John Terry (captain, Chelsea), Kyle Walker (Tottenham); Gareth Barry (Man City), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Man City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Man City), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Man Utd); Darren Bent (Aston Villa), Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd), Bobby Zamora (Fulham)