Sven planning changes

18 June 2006 10:22
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is planning to change his team for Tuesday's Group B clash against Sweden, but is still undecided about whether Wayne Rooney will start. Eriksson is more concerned about Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch, who have all been booked once and would miss England's last 16 tie if they picked up another yellow card in Cologne. With qualification for the first knockout round already guaranteed and only a point needed against Sweden to finish top of the group, the coach is likely to leave either Lampard or Gerrard on the bench and start with Owen Hargreaves. "There are three players booked and we have to be careful," he explained. "I don't want to leave all three out. Maybe one or two. If we had to win this game to go through I would probably risk all three but we don't need to do that." The situation with Crouch is less straightforward, as Eriksson is only willing to leave the Liverpool striker out if he believes Rooney is fit enough to last at least 60 minutes on what would be the youngster's first start since recovering from a foot injury. "Even if he (Rooney) starts, you don't necessarily need him to play him 90 minutes," added Eriksson. "But, if he's going to start the game, then people must convince me he's going to play at least one hour. "If he can only play 45 minutes for example it's better for him to come on in the second half. "It's completely down to how he trains and the recommendations of doctors and physios." England officials have revealed that reports Ashley Cole suffered a thigh injury during the 2-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago are untrue, meaning Gary Neville is likely to be the only squad member not available for selection. Eriksson must decide whether to start with Jamie Carragher in Neville's customary right-back role or to drop David Beckham back and play Aaron Lennon on the right wing.

Source: ESA