Walcott beats Johnson to England winger role


Fabio Capello is expected to bring Theo Walcott back into the England team for their Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland tomorrow as he opts for a 4-3-3 formation with Darren Bent as the centre-forward.

Walcott, 22, missed the last two games against Wales and Ghana in March in which Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney operated in the wide positions in a three-man attack with Bent down the middle. Tomorrow at Wembley, Walcott is expected to be selected ahead of Stewart Downing, James Milner and Adam Johnson who are all contenders for the role.

Walcott has played four times for Capello this season having been omitted from the World Cup final squad this time last year. The Arsenal winger has trained as part of a three with Bent and Young this week. Rio Ferdinand and John Terry will also be re-united in the centre of defence of a strong England team missing just the suspended Wayne Rooney and the injured Steven Gerrard from those who command starting places.

Walcott's inclusion means Adam Johnson is likely to miss out on the starting line-up. It will disappointment to the Manchester City winger as he made an impact with England in the away tie against Switzerland in September.

"The game over there was a great night for me personally," he said, "one of the career highs, especially with England. It's the best game I have had for England at under-21 or seniors. But it's a different game on Saturday. It's going to be different players on each team, and we've got to look to get a win so everyone goes away for the summer happy."

Johnson, who had been omitted from the summer's World Cup squad, was an early replacement in Basle for Walcott, who turned his ankle and had to come off. He capped an excellent display with a goal, his second in successive qualifiers. An ankle injury in January interrupted his burgeoning international career but he returned to feature in City's late surge into third in the Premier League, and their FA Cup triumph.

"Since I have got back from injury I have been pleased with my form, but not really delighted with it," he said. "But it will take a little bit of time to get back. It was the first long-term injury of my career and I rushed back a bit for the big games like the FA semi-final [against Manchester United]. Apart from the injury it's been a good season. I've been reasonably happy with my performances, we've won the FA Cup and qualified for the Champions League."

Johnson admitted the fight for places is fierce. "There's a lot of competition on the wings, so whoever plays has to grasp the spot and keep it."

The winger also discussed Carlos Tevez and his possible transfer away from City. "He is the best player I have played with. He carries us sometimes with his goals and his drive. Some of the goals, and some of the stuff he does in training, is just unbelievable. I hope we keep hold of him because he will be a major part next season when we are playing in the Champions League.

"There's probably only five or six strikers out there who get you that many goals a season at the highest level. We have one of them, so it would be great if we could keep him." Had Tevez not given the squad some clue as to his intentions? A big going-away Argentine-style barbecue for example? "He does not really say much, he is quite quiet," revealed Johnson, adding: "His English isn't too good. He keeps himself to himself."

With or without Tevez Johnson is excited about life at City. "When I signed I knew I was joining something that was going to be massive," he said. "Back then I had not played for England, or in the Champions League. But in the last year-and-a-half since I signed, my whole life has changed."

i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower