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Lampard: Cahill can fill Terry gap

10 Sep 2012 06:31:00

Lampard: Cahill can fill Terry gap

Frank Lampard has hailed Gary Cahill as "a top centre-half" as he prepares to replace John Terry in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier with Ukraine.

Cahill is the likely candidate to fill the gap at Wembley left by Terry, who has withdrawn from the squad after suffering an ankle injury in Friday's 5-0 away win over Moldova. Chelsea skipper Terry was assessed by England's medical staff on Saturday and yesterday before returning to his club after it was decided he would not recover in time to face the Ukrainians. Lampard said:

"John (Terry) will be a big miss, he is very influential, a top player who was fantastic at the Euros when playing under certain pressures. "As a squad we have to deal with his absence and luckily we have great cover whether Gary Cahill or Phil Jagielka comes in.

"Gary has grown completely as a player. I have nothing but massive things to say for Gary.

"To come to Chelsea after the season we had last year, fit in and play the games he did against Barcelona and then the final, he has proven he is a top, top centre-half in world football. "Internationally he can go on and play for a long time." The Football Association confirmed Terry's withdrawal in a statement.

It read: "Following further treatment from the England medical staff on Sunday, John Terry will not be available for the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on Tuesday. "Terry suffered an ankle injury in the game with Moldova and has returned to his club."

If Cahill is chosen, it would be his first appearance at Wembley since he suffered a broken jaw against Belgium in early June which ruled him out of Euro 2012. Jagielka, who scored the opening goal in last month's win over Italy in Berne, has previous experience of partnering Lescott when the pair were team-mates at Everton. Terry became the second player to withdraw from the squad in the space of 24 hours.

His Chelsea team-mate, Ashley Cole, had not recovered sufficiently from the ankle setback which caused him to be unavailable against Moldova. It leaves Cole on 98 caps and he could now reach the century mark next month when England visit Poland and entertain San Marino in two more qualifiers.


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