Football

Infection rules Lampard out

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Frank Lampard has become the third member of Fabio Capello's England squad to be forced out of Wednesday's friendly with Holland at Wembley.

The Chelsea midfielder complained of a throat infection on Monday morning and did not train with the remainder of Capello's party.

Lampard felt no better by the afternoon and it was decided to send him back to his club for further treatment.

Capello has opted not to call in any further replacements, having already drafted in Manchester United's Tom Cleverley earlier in the day after Jack Wilshere and Michael Carrick were ruled out.

The absence of Wilshere with an ankle injury means Lampard will be particularly disappointed by his own absence. It was suggested last month the 33-year-old was on borrowed time with England and that Capello now viewed Wilshere as the central component of his team.

Capello has denied that. Still, with a Euro 2012 double-header against Bulgaria and Wales to come next month, an encounter with the World Cup runners-up would have provided a useful platform from which Lampard could press his own claims.

The losses of Wilshere and Carrick, who had reported an Achilles problem prior to yesterday's Community Shield, were more predictable. Indeed, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had stated firmly Wilshere would not be involved this week due to a problem which prevented him from travelling to Portugal for the Gunners' defeat to Benfica.

With Carrick also missing, Capello's squad has been reduced to 23 players. Only four are orthodox central midfielders though.

Gareth Barry and Scott Parker, who started the season in the npower Championship for West Ham yesterday, would be the most likely pairing, although James Milner could also force his way in as England square up to a Dutch side likely to include combative City team-mate Nigel de Jong.

It would appear highly unlikely Cleverley will be thrown into the fray from the start, although there must be a chance the 21-year-old, who performed so well in United's win over City at Wembley on Sunday, may win his first cap at some stage.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Scott Parker
James Milner
Championship
Gareth Barry
Chelsea
Premier League
Michael Carrick
Manchester United
Nigel De Jong
Jack Wilshere
Tom Cleverley
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