Defoe and Milner start against Slovenia
Jermain Defoe has been handed the job of firing England into the World Cup knock-out stage in Port Elizabeth this afternoon.
Fabio Capello toyed with the idea of picking Defoe for last Friday's encounter with Algeria, but after watching his team perform so poorly, opted to unleash the Tottenham man on Slovenia, a match England must win to be certain of reaching the last 16.
Defoe has started just one competitive game for Capello - and lasted only one half of that, against Andorra in September 2008.
However, with 11 international goals to his name - and three in qualifying - Defoe is a more obvious threat to Slovenia than Emile Heskey and in theory, his extra pace provides Wayne Rooney with more space to lift the gloom from his disappointing contribution so far.
Capello previously stated Matthew Upson would replace the suspended Jamie Carragher in central defence and become John Terry's third partner of the tournament, and fourth since Capello named his 30-man provisional squad given Rio Ferdinand had to fly home due to injury.
Terry has been the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons this week, but after apologising for his outburst on Sunday, there was never any question of Capello dropping the Chelsea captain.
James Milner became England's third change, although having lasted only half an hour of the opening match against the United States before being hauled off, he would have been hoping to make a greater impact on his preferred right side.
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Diego Costa keeps coin thrown at him during Capital One Cup final
Lukas Podolski corner: Has the Arsenal forward taken the worst corner of all time?
Why Manchester City could turn to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers if Manuel Pellegrini is dismissed
Ireland 19 England 9 player ratings: Jonathan Sexton? Devin Toner? Alex Goode? Who was the star man in Dublin?
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Licence fee: What is the BBC charge – and how will the changes affect you?
- 3 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for