The England squad for the international break (a friendly against Slovenia on Saturday, September 5 and the World Cup qualifier against Croatia on Wednesday, September 9) sees Rio Ferdinand, Theo Walcott and David James miss out due to injury while Peter Crouch, Wes Brown and Aaron Lennon return to the fold.
A win against Croatia will guarantee England’s progression to South Africa 2010 with two games to spare on the back of a 100% qualification record and in stark contrast to their Euro 2008 qualifying efforts, where they lost home and away to Croatia and stayed home during the 2008 summer.
Goalkeepers: Foster (Manchester United), Green (West Ham), Robinson (Blackburn)
Defenders: Johnson (Liverpool), Brown (Manchester United), Upson (West Ham), Terry (Chelsea, capt), Lescott (Manchester City), A Cole (Chelsea), Bridge (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Lennon (Tottenham), Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Barry (Manchester City), Lampard (Chelsea), Carrick (Manchester United), Gerrard (Liverpool), A Young (Aston Villa), Milner (Aston Villa)
Strikers: Rooney (Manchester United), Heskey (Aston Villa), Defoe (Tottenham), C Cole (West Ham), Crouch (Tottenham)
I’d like to see Foster get another start for England and there’s a chance he’ll get a look in during the friendly game with Slovenia. However, given Capello’s penchance for continuity, Green could be preferred between the sticks against Croatia.
In defence Terry and Cole are certain starters, with Upson and Brown likely to partner them given previous squad selections by Capello.
The midfield will see Gerrard, Lampard and Barry start with Lennon or Young keeping them company, with Beckham / Milner / Wright-Phillips likely to come off the bench.
Up front, Rooney and Defoe should be starters on form, and we might see Capello try that pairing against Slovenia to get a feel of how well they do together.