England Squad Preview: Fabio Capello Turns to Youth for France Match
Fabio Capello will name his latest England squad on Saturday night as the team prepares to face France in a friendly match at Wembley on Wednesday.
It will be the Three Lions’ last match of the year and the last for almost three months until another friendly match, probably against Argentina in February.
After a disappointing scoreless draw at home to Montenegro last time out, Capello is expected to turn to some of England’s younger generation as the side begins to look to the future.
Amongst the more prominent names expected to be chosen are Newcastle’s Andy Carroll, Sunderland’s Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones of Blackburn.
Both players have been left out of Stuart Pearce’s under-21 squad hinting at their probable inclusion in the senior squad for what will be the first time for both players.
Elsewhere, Jack Wilshere will keep his place in the squad and should have a much better chance of making it onto the pitch after being an unused substitute against Montenegro.
One young player who has already been given and grasped his chance is Joe Hart.
The Manchester City goalkeeper will keep his place and hope to continue to build on his fine record of only two goals conceded in his seven appearances so far for England.
Ben Foster and Robert Green should once more provide the backup to Hart, just edging out Scott Carson.
In defence, Capello should be able to call upon both Rio Ferdinand and John Terry for the first time since May.
Phil Jagielka missed out against Montenegro through injury but should return here.
Blackburn youngster Jones is also expected to be named after being left out of the under-21 squad. Jones has featured primarily in midfield for his club this season but his long-term future is believed to be in the centre of defence.
Jones’ inclusion could leave one or both of Joleon Lescott and Gary Cahill without a place in the squad this time.
At full back there is an injury doubt over Glen Johnson who has missed Liverpool’s last five Premier League games.
Fitness permitting Johnson will still be selected and rumours abound that he will face competition in the squad from Danny Simpson.
Post-World Cup and with the international retirement of Wes Brown, Capello has only selected one right back in his squads but may turn to the Newcastle man now with Johnson struggling with both form and fitness.
Manchester City’s Micah Richards has once again been named in the under-21 squad.
At left back Kieran Gibbs looks set to be ruled out through injury so Stephen Warnock or Leighton Baines will once again back up Ashley Cole.
In midfield, Theo Walcott should return after missing the October international through injury.
Also returning to the squad will be James Milner, who missed the last qualifier through suspension.
Aaron Lennon was also injured for the Montenegro game and has missed Tottenham’s last two matches so may miss out again.
Adam Johnson and Ashley Young will most likely provide the competition on the wings with at least two, if not all of Stewart Downing, Joe Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips set to miss out from last month’s squad.
In central midfield, Frank Lampard will once more be absent after being ruled out for another two or three weeks.
In his absence, Steven Gerrard and Gareth Barry will be joined by Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson with Tom Huddlestone and Michael Carrick likely to miss the cut.
In August this game had been mooted by Capello as an opportunity for David Beckham’s final England appearance but the legendary midfielder turned down a last cap based on sentiment making his inclusion for the match highly doubtful.
Up front the main debate seems to be over whether or not Fabio Capello will select Wayne Rooney.
The Manchester United star is scheduled to return from a week’s training in the USA this weekend and Capello could select him to be assessed by England’s medical staff.
Elsewhere, injuries rule out Darren Bent and Jermain Defoe, and Bobby Zamora is still a longer-term absentee.
Andy Carroll should receive his debut but otherwise options appear thin on the ground for Capello.
Peter Crouch and Kevin Davies should both be retained by the Italian with Carlton Cole most likely to be the fourth striker involved.
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