Capello turns to Defoe

23 June 2010 02:40

Jermain Defoe was included in England's starting line-up for the first time since the opening competitive match of Fabio Capello's reign for the vital World Cup clash with Slovenia.

The Tottenham striker was taken off at half-time in the opening World Cup qualifier with Andorra in Barcelona in September 2008 and replaced by Emile Heskey. Since then Defoe has only been included in the first X1 for friendly internationals although he came off the bench to score three times in qualifiers.

But Capello has preferred him to Heskey in Port Elizabeth in making three changes - one enforced - from the side which shared a goalless draw with Algeria. James Milner was recalled on the right side of midfield in place of Aaron Lennon and Matthew Upson partners John Terry in the absence of the suspended Jamie Carragher.

Miler was taken off after half an hour against the USA after being unwell in the build-up to the game.

Terry started with a different partner alongside him for the fourth successive game after Rio Ferdinand (Japan), Ledley King (USA) and Carragher (Algeria).

Slovenia, who have collected four points from their opening two games, were without striker Nejc Pecnik who was sidelined with an ankle injury.

Source: PA