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England's unlikely lads - Defenders

17 Nov 2009 12:16:33

England's unlikely lads - Defenders

Building up to the World Cup draw on December 4th, we take a look at the fringe players still hoping for a late call from Fabio. Will they be off to South Africa with Wayne and the boys or the Costa Del Sol with the WAGs in tow?

Here we assess their chances of getting their hands on one of the 23 elusive tickets.

RIGHT-BACK

GARY NEVILLE

First named in the England squad by Terry Venables in 1995, the older of the Neville brothers has had an impressive international career, gaining 85 caps and appearing at five major tournaments thus far.

A series of injuries has kept him out of the England scene in recent years although he was given a surprise call-up by Capello in May of this year for World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra.

Despite his advancing years and weary legs, Neville's experience could be pivotal.

Chance of boarding the plane to South Africa – 2/10

CENTRE-HALF

PHIL JAGIELKA

Everton's stand out performer of the last two seasons, Phil Jagielka has been stuck on the sidelines since early May after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament against Manchester City.

Called up to the senior squad for the first time in 2008 for friendlies with the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, Jags made his first start for his country in February this year against European Champions Spain.

Due for a first-team come back within the next six weeks, a return to form could see the former Sheffield United man make a late push as an understudy to Terry and Ferdinand.

Chance of boarding the plane to South Africa – 3/10

CENTRE-HALF

GARY CAHILL

An old fashioned defender with an eye for goal, Gary Cahill has been winning admirers through his solid displays at the back for Gary Megson's Bolton Wanderers.

Yet to don a first-team shirt, the former Villa man has been called up by Capello once before but failed to make an appearance.

Often relied upon as a replacement for squad withdrawals, the man linked with Spurs and United could still have a part to play next summer.

Chance of boarding the plane to South Africa – 3/10

LEFT-BACK

LEIGHTON BAINES

The second Everton man on the list, Baines has made the left-back spot his own at the Merseyside club after a difficult start saw him relegated to the bench for much of his first season.

With one Capello call-up to his name, but no England caps, Leighton will be hoping his excellent ability to attack will give him the edge over Ashley Cole's number two, Wayne Bridge.

Ignored by the England boss despite good club form, Baines has an uphill battle on his hands.

Chance of boarding the plane to South Africa – 2/10

- Joe Strange

YOU CAN FOLLOW THE WORLD CUP DRAW LIVE AT FOOTBALL.CO.UK ON DECEMBER 4TH


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