Parker hoping to impress Eriksson

The England manager will be on Tyneside tomorrow afternoon to monitor the progress of Parker, 24, as he contemplates facing Wales on 3 September without Steven Gerrard who is battling against a calf problem. Should Parker convince the England manager that he is worthy of inclusion in the squad, and if Gerrard fails to overcome his injury, then it will be the Newcastle man or Owen Hargreaves in competition for the defensive midfield place.

Apart from the doubts over Gerrard's fitness - he withdrew from Liverpool's squad for last night's European Super Cup match against CSKA Moscow but still hopes to be fit for the match in Cardiff - there is only the question of who will play instead of the injured Gary Neville at right-back. The defender is out for six weeks and will miss the second part of his battle with club-mate Ryan Giggs on the left side of the Wales midfield.

Eriksson could choose Neville's brother Phil as a direct replacement although he may go for the Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher. While neither player are right-backs for their club sides, there will be a case for Phil Neville marking Giggs, a player he knows well from his time at Manchester United.

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