The Arsenal goalkeeper, David Seaman, yesterday emerged as England's latest fitness worry for next Saturday's World Cup qualifying decider against Greece.
The England coach, Sven Goran Eriksson, who had earlier conceded he had been fortunate with injuries to key players, now finds himself confronted by a host of withdrawals for the game at Old Trafford.
Sol Campbell, Michael Owen, Wes Brown and Alan Smith are all set to be ruled out, while Seaman is rested for Arsenal's game at Derby today due to a recurrence of his sore shoulder. The 38-year-old, who was troubled by shoulder problems last season, will be re-assessed on Monday.
Eriksson has to name his squad tomorrow night, with his forward options his over-riding concern. Owen's hamstring injury has come at the worst possible time, given his superb recent form. There are worries over his Liverpool team-mate Robbie Fowler's perceived lack of sharpness and fitness.
Andy Cole, who has started each of Manchester United's past three Premiership games and scored twice, is therefore in pole position to take over alongside Emile Heskey up front. Cole and the experienced Teddy Sheringham should have their chance to impress Eriksson today when he watches United's game at Tottenham.
Owen's hamstring injury and Smith's continuing ankle problem means Eriksson is down to just three fit strikers, including Fowler. The Swede recently watched Celtic's Chris Sutton.Reuse content