England wait on Hleb update

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The Independent Online

Alexander Hleb has been expected to miss the World Cup qualifier against England on Wednesday and Fabio Capello's men are waiting on confirmation the Belarus skipper has been ruled out.

Former Arsenal midfielder Hleb, 27, has been sidelined with an ankle injury suffered last month after joining Barcelona in the summer for around £12m.

Belarus' most celebrated player has not featured since his club's draw against Racing Santander on 13 September but was included in Bernd Stange's squad to face England at Dinamo Stadium in Minsk.

With Capello set to miss skipper John Terry and left-back Ashley Cole, Hleb had been seen as the key man in Belarus' attempt to end England's 100 per cent start in Group Six.

Stange's men have three points from their first two games, a win over Andorra and a last-gasp defeat to Ukraine when Andriy Shevchenko scored a penalty in stoppage time.

Since announcing his squad, Stange has been quoted suggesting "our biggest problem is that our best player cannot play".

Stange, however, feels his young side can express themselves against England without any pressure on them.

"I think my guys will go out with nothing to lose and they should not have any fear of their opponents," said the Belarus coach.

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