Fabio Capello’s first team selection has just been announced, and as half expected Michael Owen does not make the starting eleven.
Michael Owen – dropped by Fabio Capello
Wayne Rooney will start up front with Joe Cole just slightly behind him in what looks like a 4-1-4-1 formation.
Jermaine Jenas, the former Newcastle United midfielder and now playing well for Spurs, surprisingly starts his first game for England in a long time. It looks like Jermaine will play on the left side and David Bentley of Blackburn Rovers on the right. So Jenas is playing out of position, which never usually works very well for a natural central midfielder.
We never expected Jenas to start, but to be fair to the lad, he’s looked very good recently in the Tottenham side, since Ramos has become manager. He certainly played an excellent game last weekend against Manchester United, where he seemed to be everywhere.
This is Jenas first start since England played Colombia on their tour of the USA in May 2005. And the game also sees the first England start for David Bentley, who’s been in great form for Blackburn, and that will delight his manager Mark Hughes, who has been singing his praises recently.
Captain Steven Gerrard is in the center of midfield, alongside Aston Villa’s Gareth Barry and Matthew Upson, of West Ham, as expected, starts in the center of defense with Rio Ferdinand. How Matthew gets the starting place in front of Jonathan Woodgate is a mystery to us. Wes Brown is at right-back and Ashley Cole is at left-back. Frank Lampard is not available due to injury.
James, Brown, Ferdinand, Upson, A.Cole, Bentley, Jenas, Gerrard, Barry, J.Cole, Rooney
The substitutes have not been announced but we expect Michael Owen will be on the bench.