Ashley Cole to miss England's showdown against Poland

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Football News

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole will miss England’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Poland on Tuesday.

England cruised to a 4-1 win over Montenegro on Friday evening to leave them on the brink of qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil next summer.

Cole was forced off during Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Norwich last weekend with a rib complaint, and was forced to sit out of England’s win at Wembley two days ago.

Now the FA have confirmed that Cole will also miss the Group H showdown between England and Poland at Wembley.

The Chelsea left-back is currently recovering from his injury with his club, and could be fit for the return of the Premier League next week.

With Cole out of action, Leighton Baines will likely be asked to step into his place once more.

Baines says the game against Poland, which England must at least match Ukraine’s result against San Marino in order to ensure their place at the World Cup, is the biggest of his career.

‘Friday was probably my biggest game for England and this will be bigger,' he said today.

'We know on Friday how important it was to keep it in our own hands. The job is half done and we have to finish it off. We know it will be a tough game.

'There will be a good crowd and a good occasion. All the players at this level are accustomed to it. It’s important we go and get the right result.

'We’ve approached both games like any other. We haven’t deviated from what we do. No special plans. We prepare for the game and focus on what we need to do.’

Baines now has 20 caps for England and calls are growing for his inclusion ahead of Cole for the Three Lions even when his Chelsea rival returns to full fitness.

Asked whether he thought he was as good as Cole, who has over 100 caps, the Everton man said: 'You’re in top form one week and not quite at it in the next game.

'The manager feels he can call on either one of you and that’s all that matters - that the job gets done.'

He added: 'There’s a significance with every cap you get, you grow into it and the more experience you get at this level the better.

'It’s been nice to be involved in the qualifiers and hopefully more to come.'

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