David James assured Fabio Capello yesterday that he will be fit to play against Croatia in the World Cup qualifier next month. The Portsmouth goalkeeper had been a major worry for the England manager after injuring his knee against Arsenal on Saturday.
James, 39, was substituted in the game with Capello watching and underwent a scan on his knee yesterday at Portsmouth. The club had initially feared that it was further damage to an existing injury but they regard it as an "impact" injury which should clear in time for James to play against Manchester City at Fratton Park on Sunday.
The goalkeeper is the major problem position for the England manager as he prepares for the game against Croatia on 9 September. England will play Slovenia at Wembley four days before the World Cup qualifier which, if they win, will seal their place at the World Cup finals in South Africa next summer.
As well as James, Capello will check on the form of Ben Foster at Manchester United. He was at Upton Park on Sunday to watch, among others, Robert Green who has played the last three England internationals. Theo Walcott's back injury means that he is already out the game and Rio Ferdinand is also highly doubtful. The big decision facing Capello will be whether he recalls Michael Owen.
Nicolas Anelka has said he wants to open talks with Chelsea on a new deal to extend his current contract which runs until 2011. "I like being here. I like to play with big players," he said.
"I like to play in the Champions League and to win everything. So I will be pleased to sign for more years here. We will see what happens. I am very glad to play and to score goals for Chelsea and I hope I will be here for many more seasons. I said I wanted to be at a big club and I am."