City winger heading for World Cup

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Manchester City have confirmed Shaun Wright-Phillips is in England's World Cup squad - which is expected to be bad news for Theo Walcott.

Wright-Phillips contacted City officials early this afternoon to inform them he was part of Fabio Capello's 23-man squad and would be going to South Africa.

Official confirmation from the Football Association is still awaited, but if Wright-Phillips is in, Walcott looks set to be the man to miss out.

Should Walcott miss out, he would be the story of the squad, just as he was four years ago.

Then, aged just 17, he was elevated into Sven-Goran Eriksson's party for Germany without playing a Premier League game for Arsenal. This time, Walcott's name would be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Walcott has endured an injury-troubled time since scoring his memorable hat-trick against Croatia to launch England's qualifying campaign in September 2008. Shoulder, back, knee and hamstring problems restricted him to just 15 starting appearances for Arsenal this term.

But, after being parachuted back into the England fold for the March friendly against Egypt and then keeping his place for the recent wins over Mexico and Japan, it appeared Walcott had put fears about his form to bed.

Not for Capello it seems, leaving the Arsenal man on the outside as the biggest casualty amongst the seven names left out.

Aside from Walcott, the one unexpected decision is thought to involve Stephen Warnock's selection ahead of Leighton Baines, whose discomfort at committing himself to being away from home for six weeks eventually counted against him, even though he featured against Egypt and Mexico whilst the Aston Villa man did not.

Adam Johnson and Darren Bent are also reported to have been left out, with Michael Dawson, Scott Parker and Tom Huddlestone the most likely to join them.

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

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Manchester City
Premier League
Shaun Wright-Phillips

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