Football

England lack striking options

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England have been left with just three fit strikers for the Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland after Jermain Defoe pulled out of Fabio Capello's squad.

Defoe has been struggling with a wrist injury and although he completed the full 90 minutes in Tottenham's final day Premier League win over Birmingham on Sunday, he feels the problem requires rest and has now been ruled out of the Switzerland encounter at Wembley.

Aston Villa's Darren Bent seems certain to start the Group G encounter after scoring in his last three internationals but Capello might want to wrap Bent in cotton wool when his squad meets up in Watford on Monday evening given his only other forwards are Peter Crouch and Bobby Zamora, both of whom left the field through injury on Sunday.

Indeed, Fulham manager Mark Hughes claimed Zamora should not be considered for international duty until next year because he was not completely recovered fitness-wise from the broken leg he sustained at the start of the season.


 

With Wayne Rooney suspended and Liverpool duo Andy Carroll and Steven Gerrard both ruled out through injury, Capello was always going to be light in the striking department.

Capello has already been made painfully aware of his thin list of striking talent.

Bolton's Kevin Davies was handed his debut at 33 for the qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley in October.

The following month, Jay Bothroyd, who has just been released by Championship outfit Cardiff, came on as a substitute against France.

On this occasion, Capello has opted not to bring in a replacement, presumably because he intends to use Ashley Young as chief support to Villa team-mate Bent, having produced his three best performances for the Three Lions in this year's games against Denmark, Wales and Ghana.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Internationals
Football
Jermain Defoe

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