Given: Bridge is relishing Chelsea clash

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Football News

Wayne Bridge is relishing coming face to face with John Terry and former club Chelsea on Saturday, according to the left-back's Manchester City team-mate Shay Given.

Bridge released a short statement on Thursday claiming his presence within the England side was "untenable and potentially divisive" and that he no longer wished to be selected by Fabio Capello. The move comes after newspaper allegations about a relationship between Bridge's former partner Vanessa Perroncel and Terry, who was stripped of the England captaincy by Capello in the wake of the headlines.

"He is fine, Wayne Bridge is totally fine and he is looking forward to the game on Saturday and hopefully getting a good result for Manchester City, that's the most important thing," said Given.

"It's a massive game for everyone at the club, including Wayne.

"Shaun Wright-Phillips is going back to his old club as well and they are both looking forward to it."

Asked if he was surprised by Bridge's decision to turn his back on England, Given said: "It's a personal thing for Wayne and a private one and I don't really want to comment on that situation."

Bridge's decision is the latest blow to an already unstable England defence, which is without captain Rio Ferdinand due to a back injury and first-choice left-back Ashley Cole with a broken ankle.

Earlier this week Capello spoke of his optimism Bridge would continue to play for his country, but the left-back's decision has been greeted with sympathy and surprise among present and former England internationals.

Martin Keown, meanwhile, believes Bridge has been rushed into a decision and should be given the chance to change his mind.

"I think it's the pressure of a culmination of things," the former Arsenal defender told BBC Radio Five Live. They meet each other at the weekend, and then there's the Egypt squad to be announced, but, for me, he's made the decision too quickly."

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John Terry
Manchester City
Wayne Bridge
Premier League
Shay Given

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