England's friendly fixture with Croatia at Portman Road is now a little over a d
England's friendly fixture with Croatia at Portman Road is now a little over a day away and Head Coach Sven Goran Eriksson has confirmed that skipper David Beckham is expected to play, despite picking up a minor back injury in Real Madrid's pre-season match with Valencia on Sunday night.
However, Sven also revealed that two of his central defensive options are out of the game after arriving at their Essex training base on Monday morning with slight injuries.
"I expect David to play, but unfortunately Sol Campbell is out and Jonathan Woodgate is out," he said, "They are going home, they are not involved for the game tomorrow."
The two departures, added to yesterday's news that Owen Hargreaves is to return to Germany to recover from a groin injury, makes the arrival last night of Birmingham defender Matthew Upson all the more important. However, the former Arsenal man could still be behind Chelsea's John Terry in the pecking order. The 22-year old made an impressive start to the new season at Anfield and is vying for his first start in an England shirt.
Sven also confirmed that West Ham 'keeper David James will be starting between the stick, but that either Paul Robinson or Chris Kirkland will play the second half, adding: "One of these will be the number one for England, but I'm not sure which."
22 players now remain in the squad, all of whom will train this afternoon at Five Lakes.
David James - West Ham United
Paul Robinson - Leeds United
Chris Kirkland - Liverpool
Phil Neville - Manchester United
Danny Mills - Leeds United
Wayne Bridge - Chelsea
Ashley Cole - Arsenal
Rio Ferdinand - Manchester United
Matthew Upson - Birmingham City
John Terry - Chelsea
David Beckham - Real Madrid
Joe Cole - Chelsea
Steven Gerrard - Liverpool
Frank Lampard - Chelsea
Paul Scholes - Manchester United
Nicky Butt - Manchester United
Trevor Sinclair - Manchester City
Danny Murphy - Liverpool
Kieron Dyer - Newcastle United
James Beattie - Southampton
Michael Owen - Liverpool
Emile Heskey - Liverpool