In that respect the Norwegian central defender has an advantage over his team-mates at Ewood Park, because Norway are sure of their place in the finals. Pedersen's problem was that his previous side, St Pauli, were relegated from the top flight of the German Bundesliga, putting his international career.
Pedersen, who has more than 40 caps, missed the 1994 finals with a cruciate ligament injury while on loan at Oldham. "I have come here because of my World Cup place. I was happy at St Pauli but when they were relegated I wanted to leave. I need to play at the top level," he said.
Newcastle United have taken two foreign players on trial. The club's assistant manager, Terry McDermott, said they were looking at Bernard Allou, a French Under-21 midfielder, and a Spaniard, Alejandro Sierra Fumero.
Sunderland are hoping to sign Mark Hughes from Chelsea and David Hirst from Sheffield Wednesday to compensate for the loss of Niall Quinn, their Republic of Ireland international striker. Quinn may need a third knee operation in 12 months. He missed most of last season's Premiership campaign after damaging cruciate knee ligaments for the second time. He required further surgery at the end of the season, but the problem has flared up again.
Matthew Le Tissier is hoping to be over his broken arm in time to meet Liverpool on 20 September. He broke a bone at the tip of his elbow during a pre-season friendly in Germany and required an operation. He was initially ruled out for three months.
Robbie Fowler and Oyvind Leonhardsen, neither of whom have played so far this season, will play for Liverpool reserves this week, in the hope of being fit for next week's Uefa Cup match against Celtic.
Bolton have sent Mark Fish back to South Africa to train with his former club, Orlando Pirates. The pounds 2m centre-half, signed from Roma, is still waiting on a work permit and has to leave the country until it arrives.
Tottenham's Neale Fenn has been promoted to the Republic of Ireland's World Cup squad for tomorrow's match against Lithuania, despite being sent off for the Under-21 side against Iceland four days ago.
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