'Warrior' Terry faces a fitness test as door opens for Cahill

Click to follow
The Independent Football

John Terry, who limped off towards the end of England's 5-0 stroll in Modolva on Friday, will have his fitness assessed today ahead of Tuesday's more demanding engagement with Ukraine at Wembley. But his Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole will not be fit to return after missing Friday's match with an ankle injury.

England's manager Roy Hodgson said that "warrior" Terry could have come off earlier but was determined not to. "He took a kick on the ankle in the first half and then twisted it slightly when he landed in front of the bench in the second half," Hodgson said. "It's not a very serious injury, but every knock is important with only three days between games." Should the Chelsea captain not make it, the choice to partner Joleon Lescott would be one of the two defenders who played against Italy in last month's friendly – another Chelsea player, Gary Cahill, or Phil Jagielka. Jagielka has the advantage of having played alongside Lescott regularly at Everton, but Cahill seemed to have sneaked ahead of him in the pecking order before missing the European Championship after breaking his jaw in the final warm-up match.

"It was unfortunate I couldn't make the impact I wanted to, but I have started the season okay with Chelsea and I just need to fight to get back in there," Cahill said last week. "There were many times when I travelled with England when I didn't even get on the pitch. I suppose doing that makes you appreciate it a bit more when you do get a chance. Now the fact I feel I can fight for a place is pleasing."

Some 61,000 tickets have now been sold for Tuesday's game, 5,000 of them to Olympic 'Games Makers' at the knockdown price of £20.12. In a further attempt to harness the Games spirit the day after the official Olympic parade through London, more than a dozen British medallists will be introduced at half-time to a crowd that it is hoped will reach 70,000. Football Association sources claim this will be the highest anywhere in the world this week and that it would have been more but for many people having spent money on Olympic and Paralympic tickets over the past few weeks.

The gate will surpass the previous lowest for a competitive England game at the new Wembley, against Andorra in 2009 when 70,000 tickets were sold but under 60,000 turned up because of a tube strike.