Walcott in running for England squad
Friday 20 March 2009
Theo Walcott and Aaron Lennon are both still in contention for Fabio Capello's England squad next week despite having been named in Stuart Pearce's under-21s yesterday. The Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster is also a strong possibility for a place in the squad for next Saturday's friendly against Slovakia.
It is understood that Capello will choose between Lennon, Walcott and Shaun Wright-Phillips for one of the two right midfield places with David Beckham regarded as a safe bet for the other. Previous to his injury in an England training session in November, Walcott had been first choice on the right-side of midfield. However, Capello may wish to give Lennon, in excellent club form, his chance.
Capello announces his squad on Sunday for the games against Slovakia on 28 March and the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine four days' later. Walcott, Lennon and Micah Richards have been named among the 25 players whom Pearce has selected for the under-21s friendlies against Norway (27 March) and France (31 March).
Capello needs to try out alternatives to David James and Foster is regarded as one of England's best prospects despite playing understudy to Edwin Van der Sar. His only England cap was in February 2007, in a friendly against Spain.
Joe Hart, who has been in Capello's two previous squads, has been called up to the under-21s. The Manchester City goalkeeper has lost his place in his club side to Shay Given and his chances of a call-up for Capello's squad look much weaker with competition from Foster, Chris Kirkland and Robert Green. Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard are both fit again and shoo-ins for Capello's squad, fitness permitting.
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