Bent remains doubtful for England

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Striker Darren Bent is a major doubt for England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Bulgaria in Sofia after he was again absent from training on Thursday.

Bent had missed the previous two days' sessions with a groin problem and he again failed to participate in the final session 24 hours before the game.

The Aston Villa player also missed last month's friendly international against Holland - subsequently postponed because of the London riots - with a shoulder setback.

The former Sunderland player had looked to be establishing himself as a regular member of Fabio Capello's attack after a spell of three goals in three matches.

But his possible absence on Friday could open the door for Jermain Defoe, who scored a hat-trick against Bulgaria at Wembley a year ago.


Another option for Capello would be to play the in-form Ashley Young behind Wayne Rooney - a role he has performed at club level with Manchester United.

Bent was the only absentee from training as England finalised their preparations for two games in four days, which will go a long way to determining whether they gain automatic qualification to next summer's finals.

They will follow up the trip to Sofia with a home encounter against Wales at Wembley on Tuesday.

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