Rio out of Andorra clash
05 Sep 2008 - 17:35:36
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been ruled out of England's opening World Cup qualifier against Andorra on Saturday with a back injury.
Ferdinand, 29, missed training before England flew out to Barcelona for Saturday's opening Group Six encounter and coach Fabio Capello ruled him out of the game following his team's arrival in Spain.
However, Capello does expect Ferdinand to be fit for England's second qualifier against Croatia in Zagreb on Wednesday.
Everton defender Joleon Lescott, Matthew Upson of West Ham United or Manchester United team-mate Wes Brown are likely to partner captain John Terry at the heart of the defence at Barcelona's Olympic Stadium.
Elsewhere, the Italian reported a clean bill of health at the end of a week of training sessions where Chelsea quartet Terry, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Ashley Cole were all sidelined at various times with minor ailments.
The game is Capello's first competitive match since he replaced Steve McClaren in the international hot-seat following England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.