Eriksson may recall Butt for qualifiers

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Sven Goran Eriksson has earmarked Nicky Butt for an immediate recall to the England side to replace the injured Steven Gerrard for the World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Azerbaijan.

Sven Goran Eriksson has earmarked Nicky Butt for an immediate recall to the England side to replace the injured Steven Gerrard for the World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Azerbaijan.

Butt's former Manchester United team-mates Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville could also be in contention for next month's games, as could Wayne Rooney.

Butt, who has recovered from the hamstring injury which ruled him out of the group games against Austria and Poland, has the experience to fill the holding role at Old Trafford against Wales on 9 October and is likely to be preferred in that slot to Owen Hargreaves and David Beckham, who may take up a central position but with a more attacking brief.

"It's a shame that Steven Gerrard is out," Eriksson said yesterday. "Yet I hope that Nicky Butt can come back in. He could be an important player for us in these games."

Eriksson's positive attitude before the two qualifying games has been bolstered by the return of Ferdinand from his eight-month suspension because of a missed drugs test.

"It's good that Rio Ferdinand is back," the Swede said. "I spoke to [assistant coach] Sammy Lee and he said he played well against Liverpool."

Eriksson also spoke approvingly of Tottenham's new England trio, adding: "For Tottenham, and for England, Paul Robinson, Ledley King and Jermain Defoe are all playing very well at the moment" - suggesting that the three are all likely to start against Wales.

Comments