Football: England lose Adams, Walker and Neville

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The Independent Online
Glenn Hoddle lost another three players from his England squad yesterday when Tony Adams, Ian Walker and Gary Neville pulled out of Saturday's friendly against Mexico. The England coach still has to check on the fitness of five other players before deciding whether to draft in more replacements.

He will have to pick his third captain in five internationals, with Paul Ince likely to win the vote ahead of Stuart Pearce. Adams would have led the side at Wembley, but Hoddle has now had medical evidence to back up the advice from the Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, that the centre-back will not recover from his ankle injury in time.

With Gary Neville ruled out by a similar injury, Walker still suffering with his knee problem, and Gareth Southgate and Sol Campbell also worried by ankle problems, the England coach could have to play a completely different defence from the one he used against Italy in the World Cup last month.

Neville has already been replaced by brother, Philip. He could line up alongside his uncapped Old Trafford team-mate David May,drafted in for his club partner, Gary Pallister, with Martin Keown returning after a four-year absence.

Hoddle is waiting to find out if Matthew Le Tissier, Steve McManaman and Teddy Sheringham will be fit. The coach has already lost Pallister, Matteo, Anderton, Beckham and Barmby, while Seaman, Shearer, Merson, Hinchcliffe and Stone could not be considered for the squad.